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Mar 31, 2010
This week's theme
Words borrowed from German

This week's words
gotterdammerung
realpolitik
zeitgeist
weltanschauung
poltergeist

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

zeitgeist

PRONUNCIATION:
(TSYT-gyst)

MEANING:
noun: The defining spirit of a particular period: the general cultural, political, intellectual, and moral climate of an era.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German Zeitgeist (spirit of the time), from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit).

USAGE:
"Once again Lionel Shriver has stomped into the middle of a pressing national debate with a great ordeal of a novel So Much For That that's impossible to ignore. ... If Jodi Picoult has her finger on the zeitgeist, Shriver has her hands around its throat."
Ron Charles; So Much For That; The Washington Post; Mar 17, 2010.

See more usage examples of zeitgeist in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I'm for that. Where the government is necessary, I'm for that. I'm deeply suspicious of somebody who says, "I'm in favor of privatization," or, "I'm deeply in favor of public ownership." I'm in favor of whatever works in the particular case. -John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

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