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The Greek word for 'others'.

These days it is used to mean a group of people who share a given culture and live in the same geographical area. It strongly implies that these people see themselves as a group; in modern terms this might be called a nation, although it doesn't need to be defined politically or militarily. It might be expressed as a tribe, a people, a caste, or an ethnic group, among other labels.

Ethnos is the root from which we get words like ethnic, ethnology, ethnographic, and ethnocentrism.

E"thos (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. &?; character. See Ethic.]

1.

The character, sentiment, or disposition of a community or people, considered as a natural endowment; the spirit which actuates manners and customs; also, the characteristic tone or genius of an institution or social organization.

2.

(asthetics)

The traits in a work of art which express the ideal or typic character -- character as influenced by the ethos (sense 1) of a people -- rather than realistic or emotional situations or individual character in a narrow sense; -- opposed to pathos.

 

© Webster 1913.

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