Ethos facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly and the statue Ethos
A sculpture representing Ethos outside the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly in Canberra, Australia

Ethos (/ˈθɒs/ or US /ˈθs/) is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence emotions, behaviors, and even morals.

Etymology and origin

Ethos (ἦθος, ἔθος; plurals: ethe, ἤθη; ethea, ἤθεα) is a Greek word originally meaning "accustomed place" (as in ἤθεα ἵππων "the habitats of horses", Iliad 6.511, 15.268), "custom, habit", equivalent to Latin mores.

Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning "moral, showing moral character". As an adjective in the neuter plural form ta ethika (τὰ ἠθικά), used for the study of morals, it is the origin of the modern English word ethics.


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