\ ˈsōl How to pronounce soul (audio) \

Essential Meaning of soul

1 : the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever salvation of the human soul [=spirit] the souls of the dead
2 : a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature He could not escape the guilt that he felt in the inner recesses of his soul.
3 : the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc. She has no soul.

Full 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



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

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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 But its heart and soul is head chef Daniela Martinez, who was born in Argentina and raised in New York in a mostly Puerto Rican-Dominican community. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 Deep in the mountains of Portugal, surrounded by the stunning vineyards of the Douro Valley, lies the heart and soul of Old World winemaking. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 December is a better time to focus on making your dreams a reality and an excellent time to take a romantic vacation or put your heart and soul into a creative project. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2021 There's the heart and soul element, which satisfies human beings. Hannah Chubb,, 8 Sep. 2021 The result is a touching, introspective story about identity, belonging and the effects of long-term transience on both the heart and soul. Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2021 When the show begins, Ji-Yoon is trying to figure out both parenting and chairing, and is pouring her heart and soul into both. Kevin J.h. Dettmar, The Atlantic, 2 Sep. 2021 Its heart and soul was and is modern and American, yet the Phillipses bought and showed those Old Masters, such as El Greco and Goya, who informed contemporary art. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 2 Sep. 2021 While the show centers around Dave Burd, a white Jewish rapper on a quest to become hip-hop superstar Lil Dicky, the heart and soul of the series is GaTa, Burd’s real-life friend and hype man since 2013. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Learn soul line-dances choreographed to R&B, jazz, gospel and Latin tunes. Linda Mcintosh,, 9 July 2018 Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh threw for nine touchdowns and was named the game's MVP., 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, 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, 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


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


1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for soul


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

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Learn More About soul

Time Traveler for soul

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near soul



Soulard crab

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Statistics for soul

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Soul.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for soul


\ ˈsōl How to pronounce soul (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on soul

Nglish: Translation of soul for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soul for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about soul


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