cacoethes

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin, from Ancient Greek κακοήθης ‎(kakoḗthēs, ill-disposed) from κακός ‎(kakós, bad) + ἦθος ‎(êthos, disposition, nature).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌkakəʊˈiːθiːz/
  • Hyphenation: ca‧co‧e‧thes

Noun[edit]

cacoethes ‎(plural cacoethe)

  1. Compulsion; mania.
    • 1803, D[avid] E[vans] Macdonnel, A Dictionary of Quotations, in Most Frequent Use. Taken Chiefly from the Latin and French, but Comprising Many from the Greek, Spanish, and Italian Languages; Translated into English. With Illustrations Historical and Idiomatic[1], 4th edition, London: Printed for G. and J. Robinson ..., OCLC 8713121:
      Cacoethes. Gr[eek] — Literally an evil habit or cuſtom. It is never quoted alone, but always in combination with ſome other word, as in the three instances which follow. Cacoethes carpendi. — "a rage for collecting." [] Cacoethes loquendi. — "a rage for ſpeaking." [] Cacoethes ſcribendi. — "An itch for writing." []
    • 2010 July 1, SOMA's Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Maxims and Phrases: A Compendium of Latin Thought and Rhetorical Instruments for the Speaker, Author and Legal Practitioner Who Must Stand Out and Excel!, [Victoria, B.C.]: Trafford Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4269-2508-5:
      cacoethes – an irresistible urge; a strong propensity
    • 2012, Paul Keen, Literature, Commerce, and the Spectacle of Modernity, 1750–1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-01667-5, page 92:
      The Speculator responded to the letter with a blend of commiseration and alarm: "this young gentleman's situation is truly pitiable. The cacoethes scribendi is certainly one of the most troublesome diseases of the mind; and when it thus totally possesses a man, I scarce know any madness equal to it" (51:20). The cacoethes scribendi, which as An Impartial and Candid Disquisition into the Case of Sporus, by A Lover of Truth and Impartiality (1755) explained, "is a hard Word for a Disease called in plain English, the Itch of Writing," was a staple of literary satire (24).
    • 2013 April, Jean-Jacques Fournier, “On Wings of Cacoethes: A Risky Flight”, in Reflexions of a Probing Eye, [s.l.]: FON International Guides, ISBN 978-1-291-35266-5, page 74:
      [] So swallow pride / And pay the fare, / To climb aboard / As had before / For yet another ride, / On wings of cacoethes, []
  2. (medicine, obsolete) A bad quality or disposition in a disease; a malignant tumour or ulcer.
    • 1661, Daniel Sennert; Nicholas Culpeper and Abdiah Cole, transl., The Art of Chirurgery, Explained in Six Parts [...] Being the Whol Fifth Book of Practical Physick. By D. Sennert', Doctor of Physick. And R.W. Nicholas Culpeper, Physitian and Astrologer. Abdiah Cole, Doctor of Physick, and the Liberal Arts, London: Printed by Peter Cole and Edward Cole, Printers and Book-sellers, at the Sign of the Printing-press in Cornhill, neer the Royal Exchange, OCLC 504707814, page 2572:
      Chap. 14. Of Ulcers hard to be cured, commonly called Cacoethe, Telephium, and Chironium. [] Galen in his firſt Book of the Compoſition of Medicaments according to their kinds, Chap. 18. diſtinguiſheth between theſe Dyſepulote Ulcers, that is to ſay, ſuch as are hardly brought to a Cicatrice, and the Ulcers Cacoethe, or Malignant: and he calleth ſuch of them Dyſepulote, that ariſe from the conflux of either many or ſharp humors; []
    • 1734, Richard Wiseman, “Of Ulcers”, in Eight Chirurgical Treatises, on these Following Heads: viz. I. Of Tumours. II. Of Ulcers. III. Of Diseases of the Anus. IV. Of the King's Evil. V. Of Wounds. VI. Of Gun-shot Wounds. VII. Of Fractures and Luxations. VIII. Of the Lues Venerea [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, 6th edition, London: Printed for J. Walthoe [et al.], OCLC 642281633, page 277:
      As all Ulcers complicated with great Diseases are of difficult Cure, and therefore called Cacoethe: so these Ulcers labouring under Intemperies though they be well handled, are hard of Cure, and may be truly reckoned among the Cacoethe, malign and rebellious Ulcers.
    • 1831, Aulus Cornelius Celsus; Alex[ander] Lee, transl., Aur. Cor. Celsus on Medicine, in Eight Books, Latin and English. Translated from L[eonardo] Targa's Edition, the Words of the Text being Arranged in the Order of Construction. To which are Prefixed, a Life of the Author [by Johan Rhodius], Tables of Weights and Measures, with Explanatory Notes, etc. Designed to Facilitate the Progress of Medical Students, volume I, London: E. Cox, St. Thomas's Street, Southwark, OCLC 800562317, page 99:
      If the tumour be compressed in some, the parts in immediate contact become tense and swollen. For this reason it is the worst kind of disease. It generally commences by what the Greeks call Cacoethes, or malignant tumour, then proceeds to Carcinoma, or scirrhus, without ulceration: afterwards to ulcer: then to a thymium. None of these can be removed except the Cacoethes: the rest are aggravated by every method of treatment; and the more energetic the remedies, the more irritable they become. [] [N]o one can distinguish a cacoethes, which is curable, from a carcinoma, which is incurable, except by time and experiment.

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with cacoethics ("bad ethics or morals; bad habits").

Quotations[edit]

For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:cacoethes.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ancient Greek κακοήθης ‎(kakoḗthēs, ill-disposed) from κακός ‎(kakós, bad) + ἦθος ‎(êthos, disposition, nature).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cacoēthes n ‎(genitive cacoēthis); third declension

  1. A malignant tumour or disease.
    • 1530, Galenus; Ioannem Guinterium [Johann Guenther], Clavdii Galeni pergameni, medicorvm principis, De compositione medicamentorvm ΚΑΤᾺ ΓΈΝΗ [kata genē] lib. VII, volume VII, Basel: [Ex officina Andreae Cratandri], OCLC 492391428, page [40]:
      His igitur auditis quiſpiam, & ſimplicium medicamentorũ uiribus intellectis, diſcernere роterit, quæ maiores noſtri ad ulcera cacoëthe pharmaca cõſcripſerint:ſicut mox Aſclepiades, cognomento Pharmacion, in tertio τῶμἐχτὸς in hunc modum tradidit.
    • 1628, Bartolommeo Castelli; Emmanuel Stupanus, Lexicon medicvm græco-latinum, compendiosiss[imum] à Bartholomæo Castello Messanense inchoatum, nunc vero mystarum Apollineorum in commodum publicum, Basel: Impensis Joh. Jacobi Genathi [Johan Jakob Genath], OCLC 715252034, page 48:
      Cacoëthe ulcera, ex dyſepulotis clariùs intelliguntur; quæ enim ex humorum confluxu, vel multorŭ, vel acrimum oriuntur, ita, ut locus affectus talem diſpoſitionem, quâ id, quod influit, bonum ſit licèt, tamen ipſum corrumpat, non habeat, Dyſepulota nomino: quæ verò dictam diſpoſitionem jam obtinent, præcipuo vocabulo cacoëthe, i.e. maligna, appello.
    • 1814 October 21, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “To Mr. Justice Fletcher. Letter III.”, in Sara Coleridge, editor, Essays on His Own Times: Forming a Second Series of The Friend, volume III, London: William Pickering, published 1850, OCLC 18153765, page 697:
      Coercere ipsos meum non erit, meum tamen erit ipsos prodere, quod fraudibus et imposturis toti scateant, et aliud fundamentum nullum, quam a cacoëthe plausus vulgaris et ignorantia enatum, teneant.
    • 1831, Aulus Cornelius Celsus; Alex[ander] Lee, transl., Aur. Cor. Celsus on Medicine, in Eight Books, Latin and English. Translated from L[eonardo] Targa's Edition, the Words of the Text being Arranged in the Order of Construction. To which are Prefixed, a Life of the Author [by Johan Rhodius], Tables of Weights and Measures, with Explanatory Notes, etc. Designed to Facilitate the Progress of Medical Students, volume I, London: E. Cox, St. Thomas's Street, Southwark, OCLC 800562317, page 99:
      Tolli nihil, nisi cacoethes potest: reliqua curationibus irritantur; et quo major vis adhibita est, eo magis.
      None of these can be removed except the Cacoethes: the rest are aggravated by every method of treatment; and the more energetic the remedies, the more irritable they become.
  2. Mania, especially for writing.
    • 1731, Jean de Launoy, Joannis Launoii [...] Opera omnia : ad selectum ordinem revocata : ineditis opusculis aliquot, notis nonnullis dogmaticis, historicis et criticis : auctoris vita : variis monumentis tum ad Launonium tum ad scripta ipsius pertinentibus, praefationibus cuique volumini affixis, indicibus locupletissimis : aucta et illustrata [...], volume II, part 2, Coloniae Allobrogum: Fabri & Barrillot, Sociorum; Marci-Michaelis Bousquet & Sociorum, OCLC 18485213, page 689:
      Nam de me ita ſcribit: Quem ſatis notum paſſim Gallia tota inſanabile contradicendi cacoëthes fecit. Et primò quidem circa jejunii materiam, quæ eſt рræ manibus, quibus in Diſſertationis noſtræ locis inſanabile contradicendi cacoëthes apparet?
    • 1791, Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis; Martin Madan, transl., A New and Literal Translation of the I, III, IV, VII, VIII, X, XIII, & XIV Satires of Juvenal, with Copious Explanatory Notes; by which this Difficult Satirist is Rendered Easy and Familiar to the Reader, Dublin: Printed by W. McKenzie, No. 33, College-Green, OCLC 642503820, page 168:
      Nam ſi diſcedas, laqueo tenet ambitioſi / Conſuetudo mali: tenet inſanabile multos / Scribendi cacoëthes, & ægro in corde ſeneſcit.

Inflection[edit]

Third declension neuter.

Case Singular Plural
nominative cacoēthes cacoētha
genitive cacoēthis cacoēthum
dative cacoēthī cacoēthibus
accusative cacoēthes cacoētha
ablative cacoēthe cacoēthibus
vocative cacoēthes cacoētha

References[edit]