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See also: cacoëthic


Alternative forms[edit]


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


  • IPA(key): /ˌkakəʊˈiːθik/
  • Hyphenation: ca‧co‧eth‧ic


cacoethic (comparative more cacoethic, superlative most cacoethic)

  1. Ill-conditioned, malignant; cacoethical.
    • 1833, John Borthwick Gilchrist, A Practical Appeal to the Public, through a Series of Letters, in Defence of the New System of Physic by the Illustrious [Samuel] Hahnemann; [...]: Letter the First, London: Parbury, Allen, & Co., Leadenhall Street, →OCLC, page 21:
      From Nature's womb vitality will burst / Upon the optic and all other nerves, / To make us stare with wonder at ourselves. / The valetudinarian thus will learn / One cacoëthic cause of all his woe.
    • 2009, Robert G. Eisenhauer, Ode Consciousness [Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature; 100], New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang, →ISBN, page 2:
      Henry Vaughan's charming "Upon a Cloke Lent Him by Mr. J. Ridsley," [] has been variously described as a macabre performance, phantasmagoric dream, or Democritean jest, but not to my knowledge as an anti-ode without strophe or antistrophe whose subject is an object, or, rather, the subject suffering under the cross of the object – "that which must be borne" – whose slate-like identity is defined and literally drawn upon (character'd) by the objectivity of the borrowed garment, a textile-message that is heavy enough in its cacoethic weave to read as a versified psychoanalytic narrative.
  2. (medicine, obsolete) Of or pertaining to a cacoethes (a malignant tumour or ulcer).
    • 1702, John Moyle, Chirurgus Marinus: or, the Sea-Chirurgion [...], 4th, newly corr. and inlarged edition, London: Printed for E[benezer] Tracy, at the Three Bibles on London-Bridge, and S. Burrowes, at the Bible and Three Legs in the Poultry, →OCLC, pages 202–203:
      Now theſe two Parts of Surgery I ſhould have inlarged more upon, being they are notable branches of our Art, as well as Wounds, Fractures, and Luxations, but time permitted not. Several of them that proceed from Wounds and Contuſions, and ſome from Plethory and Choller, I have touched upon already, and will add no more about them; bur others from a Cacoethic habit of Body, tis neceſſary that I now observe unto you.
    • 1727, Edward Strother, Materia Medica: or, A New Description of the Virtues and Effects of all Drugs, or Simple Medicines now in Use [...] Done from the Latin Original of Dr. Paul Harman, Late Professor of Botany in Leyden. [...], London: Printed for Charles Rivington at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, →OCLC, page 238:
      Take red Lead two Ounces, diſtill'd Vinegar two Pounds, digeſt for many Days; this Liquor being diſtill'd is us'd for a Fomentation in cacoethic Ulcers, call'd Nomæ, Phagædænica.
    • 1767, William Fordyce, A Review of the Venereal Disease, and its Remedies, London: Printed by T. Spilsbury, for T[homas] Cadell (successor to Mr. Millar), and J. Payne, →OCLC, page 61:
      I have, for ſome years paſt, given above ten pound weight of the extract of cicuta annually, in which time, it is certain I have both frequently ſucceeded, and frequently failed. I have failed however ſeldomer in mending the face of cacoëthic ſores, than in any other circumſtance.

Usage notes[edit]

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


For more quotations using this term, see Citations:cacoethic.


Related terms[edit]