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See also: Zeitgeist


Alternative forms[edit]


Unadapted borrowing from German Zeitgeist (literally time-spirit).



zeitgeist (plural zeitgeists or zeitgeister or zeitgeisten)

  1. The spirit of the age; the taste, outlook, and spirit characteristic of a period.
    Synonyms: spiritus mundi, temper of the times, tenor of the times, time spirit, time-spirit
    • 1958, Martin Luther King Jr., “Rosa Parks' Arrest”, in Stride Toward Freedom:
      She was anchored to that seat by the accumulated indignities of days gone by and the boundless aspirations of generations yet unborn. She was a victim of both the forces of history and the forces of destiny. She had been tracked down by the Zeitgeist—the spirit of the time.
    • 1996, Michael Vanden Heuvel, Elmer Rice: A Research and Production Sourcebook, Greenwood Publishing Group, →ISBN:
      After quickly summarizing the zeitgeisten of the Greek, Elizabethan, and early modern periods and their effects on the theatre, Rice turns to the contemporary world.
    • 2007 December 9, Scott Timberg, quoting Annalee Newitz, “The descent of a sci-fi guru”, in Los Angeles Times[1]:
      [Robert] Heinlein’s gift was to catch the zeitgeist. “That’s what made him so successful, but it makes his work seem dated.”
    • 2014 February 10, Anthony Faiola, “Swiss vote to limit foreign workers captures growing European fears about immigration”, in The Washington Post[2], archived from the original on 2014-02-11:
      The vote also stoked fears that Swiss citizens were reflecting the zeitgeist across Europe, where right-wing populists increasingly are seizing the spotlight with an anti-immigration political agenda.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The German term, Zeitgeist, is commonly not pluralized. Geist (ghost, spirit) however has the plural Geister.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]


From German Zeitgeist.


zeitgeist c (singular definite zeitgeisten, not used in plural form)

  1. zeitgeist
    • 2013, Lars Holger Holm, Kenneth Maximilian Geneser, Gotisk, →ISBN, page 140:
      De bliver dermed til et fænomen i tiden, til tidsbilleder, som kan tydes og bruges i en afsøgning af zeitgeisten.
      They thus become a phenomenon of the time, time-images, that may be deciphered and used in an investigation of the zeitgeist.
    • 2010, Henrik List, Sidste nat i kødbyen, Lindhardt og Ringhof, →ISBN:
      Og hvem ville så bryde sig om at være lyseslukker til zeitgeistens swingerfest? Hvem ville så sige nej tak til en plads i VIP-afdelingen til den store, subkulturelle love-in?
      And who would then like to be a party-pooper at the swinger's party of the zeitgeist? Who would then refuse a spot in the VIP section at the big, subcultural love-in?





Borrowed from German Zeitgeist.


zeitgeist m (plural zeitgeists)

  1. (sociology) zeitgeist (the dominant set of ideals and beliefs of an era)