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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a chronic and overwhelming desire; mania. — cacoethic, adj.
See also: Disease and Illness
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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, 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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.