soul

noun
\ ˈsōl \

Definition of soul

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2a : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
b capitalized, Christian Science : god sense 1b
3 : a person's total self
4a : an active or essential part
b : a moving spirit : leader
5a : the moral and emotional nature of human beings
b : the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment
c : spiritual or moral force : fervor
6 : person not a soul in sight
7 : personification she is the soul of integrity
8a : a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by African American performers
b : cultural consciousness and pride among people of African heritage
d : soul food

soul

adjective

Definition of soul (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of black Americans or their culture
2 : designed for or controlled by blacks

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Synonyms for soul

Synonyms: Noun

psyche, spirit

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Examples of soul in a Sentence

Noun

the souls of the dead He could not escape the guilt that he felt in the inner recesses of his soul. Some poor soul was asking for handouts on the street. a village of barely a hundred souls
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The experience eviscerates the caretaker’s soul in a way that words cannot describe. WSJ, "The Good Death: On Leaving This World in a Satisfying Way," 15 Feb. 2019 Bode Emily Bode is something of an old soul and her ability to follow her instincts is a testament to her creative maturity. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 10 Shows of New York Fashion Week Fall 2019," 14 Feb. 2019 And the experience of getting to learn about McLauchlin’s fascinating life story and work are nothing short of soul-elevating. Jaimie Potters, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to Visiting San Miguel de Allende," 7 Jan. 2019 This poor soul's life literally consists of dealing with Claire and Jamie's constant threat of public love-making, stepping in poop, being a third wheel, knitting, and sleeping with a dog. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 Reveals How Claire & Jamie May Die," 26 Nov. 2018 One of these searching souls will be left holding the nebulous prize by book’s end. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "'What We Were Promised' depicts post-Mao China in a deft debut novel set in Shanghai," 13 July 2018 Its arrival to Brush Park in mid-May was greeted with media buzz, but Empire's vanilla vision offers a dreary look into Detroit's potential culinary soul. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Restaurant Review: Detroit's Empire Kitchen & Cocktails has no clothes," 12 July 2018 Universal Pictures To be sure, there are a few scenes in which the movie overcomes this setup, to say something real about how expectations based on race, class, and identity can wreak havoc on a person’s soul. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 Venisha Brown, the daughter of legendary soul singer James Brown, died on Wednesday at the age of 53. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "James Brown's daughter Venisha dead at 53," 21 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Learn soul line-dances choreographed to R&B, jazz, gospel and Latin tunes. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Woman of the Year awards given," 9 July 2018 Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh threw for nine touchdowns and was named the game's MVP. baltimoresun.com, "Digest (Aug. 12): Soul stops Brigade in playoff opener," 13 Aug. 2017 Harper’s Cabin Learn about the history, nutrition and culture of African American foods, and about how soul food became important to African American families, their churches and social gatherings. Washington Post, "Montgomery County community calendar July 27-Aug. 3, 2017," 26 July 2017 Among its fans is soul artist Jimmy Levy of Miami, who was encouraged by his manager to try RecordGram, Mendelson said. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "This Miami music startup brings a recording studio to your phone," 23 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soul.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of soul

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for soul

Noun

Middle English soule, from Old English sāwol; akin to Old High German sēula soul

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Statistics for soul

Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soul

The first known use of soul was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for soul

soul

noun

English Language Learners Definition of soul

: the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever
: a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature
: the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.

soul

noun
\ ˈsōl \

Kids Definition of soul

1 : the spiritual part of a person believed to give life to the body
2 : the essential or most important part of something This room is the soul of the house.
3 : a person who leads or stirs others to action : leader He was the soul of the campaign.
4 : a person's moral and emotional nature I felt my soul rebel against the injustice.
5 : human being : person a kind soul
6 : a style of music expressing deep emotion that was created by African-Americans

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More from Merriam-Webster on soul

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with soul

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soul

Spanish Central: Translation of soul

Nglish: Translation of soul for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soul for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about soul

Comments on soul

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