Got this from http://www.answers.com/zeitgeist&r=67
Zeit�geist (ts?t’g?st’, z?t’-) n.
The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation: �It’s easy to see how a student . . . in the 1940’s could imbibe such notions. The Zeitgeist encouraged Philosopher-Kings� (James Atlas).
[German : Zeit, time (from Middle High German z?t, from Old High German) + Geist, spirit; see poltergeist.]