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Word of the Day
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Definitions for cacoethes

  1. An irresistible urge; mania.

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Citations for cacoethes
We must talk, think, and live up to the spirit of the times, and write up to it too, if that cacoethes be upon us, or else we are nought. Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
A cacoethes for travel seemed suddenly to have possessed the old gentleman, and an airy allusion to Damascus had struck her dumb. Leonard Merrick, The worldlings
Origin of cacoethes
1555-1565
Cacoethes stems from the Greek kakoethes, a combination of the roots kakos, "bad," and ethes, "character." The word occurs famously in Juvenal's Latin phrase insanabile scribendi cacoethes, "incurable passion for writing."