cacoethes "itch for doing something," 1560s, from L., from Gk. kakoethes "ill-habit, wickedness, itch for doing (something)," from kakos "bad" + ethe- "disposition, character" (see ETHOS (Cf. ethos)). Most famously, in Juvenal's insanabile scribendi cacoethes "incurable passion for writing."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • Cacoethes — Cac o*[ e] thes, n. [L., fr. Gr. ???????? of ill habits, ?? ???????? an ill habit; kako s bad + ? habit] 1. A bad custom or habit; an insatiable desire; as, caco[ e]thes scribendi, The itch for writing . Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) A bad… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cacoethes — index dipsomania Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • cacoethes — [kak΄ō ē′thēz΄] n. [L < Gr kakoēthēs < kakos, bad + ēthos, habit: see ETHICAL] a hankering (to do something); mania …   English World dictionary

  • cacoëthes — /kak oh ee theez/, n. an irresistible urge; mania. Also, cacoethes. [1555 65; < L < Gk kakóethes, neut. (used as n.) of kakoéthes malignant, lit., of bad character; see CACO , ETHOS] * * * …   Universalium

  • cacoëthes — noun Etymology: Latin, from Greek kakoēthes wickedness, from neuter of kakoēthēs malignant, from kak cac + ēthos character more at sib Date: circa 1587 an insatiable desire ; mania …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cacoethes — noun compulsion; mania …   Wiktionary

  • cacoethes — n. unsatisfiable desire, mania; irrational but overwhelming motive for a belief, passion; bad habit …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cacoethes — [ˌkakəʊ i:θi:z] noun rare an urge to do something inadvisable. Origin C16: via L. from Gk kakoēthes ill disposed …   English new terms dictionary

  • cacoethes — n. [L.] 1. Bad habit, bad custom, diseased propensity. 2. (Med.) Incurable ulcer …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • cacoëthes — cac·o·ë·thes …   English syllables

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