élan vital

noun

élan vi·​tal ā-ˌläⁿ-vē-ˈtäl How to pronounce élan vital (audio)
: the vital force or impulse of life
especially : a creative principle held by Bergson to be immanent in all organisms and responsible for evolution

Word History

Etymology

French

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of élan vital was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near élan vital

Cite this Entry

“élan vital.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%C3%A9lan%20vital. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on élan vital

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!