spiritus mundi

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Loan term from Latin spīritus mundi; literally, spirit of the world

Noun[edit]

spiritus mundi

  1. (sometimes capitalized) The spirit, outlook, point of view, or social and cultural values characteristic of an era of human history.
    • 1919, William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming":
      . . . a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    • 2000 July 25, C. Carr, "Bringing Down the House," Village Voice (retrieved 13 March 2012):
      Judson House was bohemian in the broadest sense of that term: a working or living space through much of the 20th century for people alienated from middle-class values, artistic, political, and spiritual. . . . "More than a building, it's the spiritus mundi," says senior minister Peter Laarman.
    • 2006 July 30, "The Great Right Place: James Ellroy Comes Home," Los Angeles Times, p. I14 (retrieved 13 March 2012):
      L.A. was a magnet for lives in desperate duress. . . . The place itself provided solace and recompense. They had the comfort of other arriviste losers. They entered the L.A. spiritus mundi.
    • 2007, Robert Ellwood, Campus Secrets, ISBN 9781430302780, p. 166 (Google preview):
      A mind laughing, running, darting, planning, crunching letters and words one after the other, was something for which the spiritus mundi of this lost eon was not yet ready.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]