n. an irressistble urge to do something bad or harmful. For example, a person may develop a cacoethes for excessive smoking. It often manifests as an irrational desire or uncontrollable compulsion, one that eventually leads to manic behavior. See mania.

CACOETHES: "Cacoethes refers to an irresistible urge to engage in repeatedly-bad or hamful behavior."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "CACOETHES," in, April 7, 2013, (accessed May 16, 2021).