Zeitgeist/ noun / zeit·geist
Have you ever closed your eyes and pictured yourself in a different place and time? We call the sights, sounds, smells, and general social climate surrounding a specific time "zeitgeist."
Zeitgeist is "the spirit or mood of the age." It can refer to the general atmosphere surrounding a period and specific aspects of popular culture. We have used the word in various literary and philosophical works over the years to describe how a particular movement or trend is influencing society. Intellectual works, trends, and customs that signify specific periods affect Zeitgeists.
For example, we remember periods like the 1970s for their social climate promoting peace and love. We can recreate the feelings associated with this time by wearing period-appropriate clothing, listening to popular music of the day, and discussing important events that shaped history.
In a Sentence
The tribute to the renaissance era perfectly captured the Zeitgeist of the age with period-appropriate costumes and scenery.
Our current culture reflects a Zeitgeist we will remember for its vast advances in technology and software development.
The Greek restaurant owners pored over every detail to ensure they perfectly depicted the Greek and Roman era Zeitgeist for dining room guests.
Zeitgeist is German and means "spirit of the age." It was first used in the early 1800s by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We started using Zeitgeist in English in 1835 to describe a period's social climate or spirit.
Bygone, Behind the times