meaning of cacoethes

cacoethes meaning in Etymology Dictionary

"itch for doing one thing," 1560s, from Latinized form of Greek kakoethes "ill-habit, wickedness, itch for doing (anything)," from kakos "bad" (see caco-) + ethe- "disposition, character" (see ethos). Most famously, in Juvenal's insanabile scribendi cacoethes "incurable enthusiasm for writing."

cacoethes meaning in General Dictionary

an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or activity

View more

  • A bad custom or routine; an insatiable need; as, cacoethes scribendi, "The itch for writing".
  • a negative high quality or personality in an illness; an incurable ulcer.