Ethos Definition

Ethos Definition

Ethos Definition

“Ethos” is a term that can be understood in several contexts, but its most common usages are found in rhetoric and philosophy.


In the art of persuasion, “ethos” is one of the three modes of persuasion identified by Aristotle (the other two being “pathos” and “logos”). Ethos refers to the credibility or ethical character of the speaker. It’s about establishing trust and authority on a topic, demonstrating that the speaker is reliable, honest, and authoritative. When a speaker has strong ethos, the audience is more likely to be persuaded by their arguments because they believe in the character of the speaker.


In a broader, philosophical context, “ethos” can refer to the character, values, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution. It’s the spirit or disposition that influences habits, customs, and practices.

For example, when we talk about the “ethos” of a culture or community, we’re referring to its shared values, beliefs, and characteristics that define it.

Both definitions touch upon the fundamental idea of ethos being related to character and credibility.