the spirit of that time; the nature attribute of an age or generation
1848, from German Zeitgeist (Herder, 1769), "spirit associated with age," literally "time-spirit," from Zeit "time" (see wave (n.)) + Geist "character" (see ghost (n.)). Carlyle has actually it as a German word in "Sartor Resartus" (1840) and translates it as "Time-Spirit."
nature associated with the age
- nature of the time
- character associated with times
Modern Congregationalism, as highly sensitive to the Zeitgeist and its solvent influence on dogma, shared for a time the critical and negative attitude produced by the first impact of a culture determined by the conception of development as applying to the whole realm of experience.