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Word of the Day: Der Zeitgeist

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Word of the Day: Der Zeitgeist
Photo: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Also used in English, Zeitgeist literally means 'spirit of the time.'


It pertains to the defining mood and characteristics of a certain epoch, usually as expressed through popular ideas and beliefs of the time.

Modern usage of Zeitgeist also refers to popular contemporary fashions and trends which epitomize the tastes of an era.

For instance, the hippie culture encapsulates the Zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s USA - this includes both fashion trend like long hair and flares, and beliefs in notions like free-love and anti-war.

In Europe following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Zeitgeist may involve questioning previously held European beliefs on Russian policy.



Ich bin eigenartig. Ich bin kein Anhänger des Zeitgeistes.

I’m quirky. I don’t follow fashion.

Der Zeitgeist wird durch gegenwärtige Überzeugungen ausgedrückt.

The spirit of the time is expressed through contemporary beliefs.


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