what does zeitgeist mean?

Friday, February 13, 2009

"spirit of the time"

Sort of like the pervading feeling of an age.

The Zeitgeist of the Great Depression was hopelessness.

An easing of political tensions was the Zeitgeist of the Era of Good Feelings.

However, finding a synonym for Zeitgeist isn't very difficult, and the only reason most people use it is so they can have something fierce and German and italicized in their writing.