Delineation of character; representation of a person's manners or morals. In Rhetoric: imitation of another's style of discourse, especially to present the person in a favourable or unfavourable light. Also: an instance of this. Chiefly with reference to ancient Greek rhetoric and drama.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Sherry (b. c1505), schoolmaster and author. From post-classical Latin ethopoeia delineation of character from Hellenistic Greek ἠθοποιία formation of character, delineation of character from ancient Greek ἦθος character + -ποιία.