1

spirit

noun spir·it \ ˈspir-ət \

Definition of spirit

1 :an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
2 :a supernatural being or essence: such as
a capitalized :holy spirit
b :soul 2a
c :an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible; specifically :ghost 2
d :a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being
3 :temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated
  • in high spirits
4 :the immaterial intelligent or sentient part of a person
5 a :the activating or essential principle influencing a person
  • acted in a spirit of helpfulness
b :an inclination, impulse, or tendency of a specified kind :mood
6 a :a special attitude or frame of mind
  • the money-making spirit was for a time driven back
  • —J. A. Froude
b :the feeling, quality, or disposition characterizing something
  • undertaken in a spirit of fun
7 :a lively or brisk quality in a person or a person's actions
8 :a person having a character or disposition of a specified nature
9 :a mental disposition characterized by firmness or assertiveness
  • denied the charge with spirit
10 a :distillate 1: such as
(1) :the liquid containing ethanol and water that is distilled from an alcoholic liquid or mash often used in plural
(2) :any of various volatile liquids obtained by distillation or cracking (as of petroleum, shale, or wood) often used in plural
b :a usually volatile organic solvent (such as an alcohol, ester, or hydrocarbon)
11 a :prevailing tone or tendency
  • spirit of the age
b :general intent or real meaning
  • spirit of the law
12 :an alcoholic solution of a volatile substance
  • spirit of camphor
13 :enthusiastic loyalty
  • school spirit
14 capitalized, Christian Science :god 1b

Examples of spirit in a Sentence

  1. the spirits of my ancestors

  2. Some religions believe that the same spirit is reincarnated many times in different bodies.

  3. Yoga is very healthy for both body and spirit.

  4. We will all miss her generous spirit.

  5. My father was a proud spirit.

Recent Examples of spirit from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of spirit

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, espirit, spirit, from Latin spiritus, literally, breath, from spirare to blow, breathe

spirit Synonyms

Synonyms
psyche, soul
Antonyms
nonintoxicant
Related Words
life, vitality; being, essence, quintessence
Near Antonyms
body, flesh

Synonym Discussion of spirit

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty.
    • the courage to support unpopular causes
mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience.
    • a challenge that will test your mettle
spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened.
    • her spirit was unbroken by failure
resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends.
    • the resolution of pioneer women
tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat.
    • held to their beliefs with great tenacity

2

spirit

verb

Definition of spirit

transitive verb
1 :to infuse with spirit; especially :animate
  • hope and apprehension of feasibleness spirits all industry
  • —John Goodman
2 :to carry off usually secretly or mysteriously
  • was hustled into a … motorcar and spirited off to the country
  • —W. L. Shirer

Examples of spirit in a Sentence

  1. The singer was spirited away in a limousine after the show.

  2. Some of the funds had been spirited away to other accounts.

First Known Use of spirit

1608


SPIRIT Defined for English Language Learners

spirit

noun

Definition of spirit for English Language Learners

  • : the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power

  • : the inner quality or nature of a person

  • : a person


spirit

verb

Definition of spirit for English Language Learners

  • : to carry (someone or something) away secretly


SPIRIT Defined for Kids

1

spirit

noun spir·it \ ˈspir-ət \

Definition of spirit for Students

1 :1mood
  • I'm in good spirits today.
2 :a being (as a ghost) whose existence cannot be explained
3 :a lively or brisk quality
  • They sang with spirit.
4 :a force within a human being thought to give the body life, energy, and power :soul
5 :an attitude or feeling
  • It was said in a spirit of fun.
6 :person 1
  • She was a bold spirit.
7 :an alcoholic liquor usually used in pl.
8 capitalized :God in the form of a spirit in Christianity
9 spirits plural :a solution in alcohol
  • spirits of camphor
10 :real meaning or intention
  • the spirit of the law

spiritless

\-ləs\ adjective

2

spirit

verb

Definition of spirit for Students

spirited; spiriting
:to carry off secretly or mysteriously
  • The jewels were spirited out of the country.

Medical Dictionary

spirit

noun spir·it \ ˈspir-ət \

medical Definition of spirit

1 a :distillate; especially :the liquid containing ethyl alcohol and water that is distilled from an alcoholic liquid or mash often used in plural
b :a usually volatile organic solvent (as an alcohol, ester, or hydrocarbon)
2 :an alcoholic solution of a volatile substance
  • spirit of camphor


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