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An irresistible compulsion; a mania.

[Latin cacoēthes, from neuter of Greek kakoēthēs, ill-disposed : kakos, bad; see kakka- in Indo-European roots + ēthos, disposition; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]


(Pathology) an uncontrollable urge or desire, esp for something harmful; mania: a cacoethes for smoking.
[C16: from Latin cacoēthes malignant disease, from Greek kakoēthēs of an evil disposition, from kakos caco- + ēthos character]
cacoethic adj


or cac•o•e•thes

(ˌkæk oʊˈi θiz)

an irresistible urge; mania.
[1555–65; < Latin < Greek kakóēthes, neuter (used as n.) of kakoḗthēs malignant, literally, of bad character; see caco-, ethos]


a chronic and overwhelming desire; mania. — cacoethic, adj.
See also: Disease and Illness
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cacoethes - an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action
irrational motive - a motivation that is inconsistent with reason or logic
agromania - an intense desire to be alone or out in the open
dipsomania, potomania, alcoholism - an intense persistent desire to drink alcoholic beverages to excess
egomania - an intense and irresistible love for yourself and concern for your own needs
kleptomania - an irresistible impulse to steal in the absence of any economic motive
logomania, logorrhea - pathologically excessive (and often incoherent) talking
monomania, possession - a mania restricted to one thing or idea
necromania, necrophilia, necrophilism - an irresistible sexual attraction to dead bodies
phaneromania - an irresistible desire to pick at superficial body parts (as in obsessive nail-biting)
pyromania - an uncontrollable desire to set fire to things
trichotillomania - an irresistible urge to pull out your own hair
References in periodicals archive ?
1972 Brigadier Gerard suffered his only defeat, at odds of 1-3, at the hands of Roberto (above), who was ditched by Lester Piggott in favour of Rheingold 1977 Relkino was sent off 33-1 but stunned the likes of Eclipse winner Artaius, unbeaten French colt Lightning and Irish Derby winner Malacate 1984 Jeff Smith's Chief Singer was among the victims of 15-1 shot Cormorant Wood, along with Tolomeo and Sadler's 1989 There were bigger winning outsiders than Ile De Chypre (above), but he was supposed to be only the pacemaker for his stablemate Cacoethes 1991 16-1 Terimon was another front-runner to upset the applecart, in particular odds-on Starcraft, along with Environment Friend and Quest For Fame
Celsus consequently used the Latin term cacoethes with a meaning differing from Hippocrates' Greek term kakoethes.
It stated, 'The Cacoethes scribendi (46) has, of late, become epidemical.
MURDER, especially if the vast stream of fictional blood-lettings is taken into the reckoning, is surely the single subject, with, perhaps, the exception of theology, which has stimulated most prodigally the cacoethes scribendi.
I have no significant reservations in recommending the collection, but symptomatic of that disease all reviewers share (we call it cacoethes carpendi), I do have some smaller ones, if you will indulge me.
He was sent off a 2/9 favourite to prove himself against the older generation in the King George, but he struggled to fend off Cacoethes and prevailed by a neck.
Rexroth presided over the famous Gallery Six "coming out" reading of the Beats; Kerouac portrays him in this role as Rheinhold Cacoethes in The Dharma Bums (1958, 13-15).