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illustration Cacoethes



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, 17th century


An urge to do something inadvisable.

Examples of Cacoethes in a sentence

"My brother admits to feeling a nagging cacoethes to pull pranks whenever our whole family gets together."

"I’m glad I followed the cacoethes to invest my money, since the return was enormous despite the risk."

About Cacoethes

“Cacoethes” is a loanword from Latin, where “cacoethes” is based on the ancient Greek “κακοήθης” (“kakoḗthēs,” meaning “ill-disposed”).

Did you Know?

Surely the first person who felt pulled to jump out of a plane with a parachute was driven by some kind of cacoethes, but skydiving has surprisingly old roots. The extreme practice predates airplanes by over 100 years, and the idea goes back even further. Leonardo da Vinci developed blueprints for a parachute in 1485, and the first person to successfully descend from a great height by parachute was Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin, who leapt from a hot-air balloon with a parachute in 1797. While skydiving still seems to be a flight of cacoethes, it has become a widely appreciated practice (with well-tested safety guidelines).

illustration Cacoethes

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