spir·​it·​ed | \ ˈspir-ə-təd How to pronounce spirited (audio) \

Definition of spirited

: full of energy, animation, or courage a spirited discussion

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Other Words from spirited

spiritedly adverb
spiritedness noun

Did You Know?

You may see spirited used to describe a conversation, a debate, a horse, or a campaign. And it often shows up in such words as high-spirited ("bold and energetic"), mean-spirited ("spiteful"), and public-spirited ("generous to a community"), all of which reflect the original meaning of spirit, a notion much like "soul" or "personality".

Examples of spirited in a Sentence

The team put up a spirited defense. She's a very spirited young lady.
Recent Examples on the Web On the Jewish holiday of Purim—a spirited mix of Halloween and Mardi Gras—costumed revelers are encouraged to drink until the world is turned upside down. Brian Schaefer, Bloomberg.com, "After the Pandemic, a Return to a City of Bold Food and Fiery Dance," 13 May 2020 Takuma Sato He won a spirited late duel with Helio Castroneves and Max Chilton, denying Castroneves a fourth Indy 500 title by 0.211 seconds. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "20 for 20: Ranking the best Indy 500 drivers since 2000," 12 May 2020 Tanker Bar: This spirited Southeast Hawthorne Street bar, known for once hosting Project Runway viewing parties with Portland’s own contestants in attendance, announced its permanent closure on Instagram on March 17. oregonlive, "Oregon restaurants and bars that closed permanent during coronavirus crisis," 4 May 2020 The court has never before heard a case by phone, a move that some lawyers fear will degrade the quality of the arguments and the spirited give-and-take of the courtroom. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Virus Pushes a Staid Supreme Court Into Revolutionary Changes," 3 May 2020 The film mutates from spirited intercontinental caper to one that mulls the impact of isolation, fear, and uncertainty in the face of a spreading, unseen menace. Eric Adams, Wired, "This 30-Year-Old Sci-Fi Epic Is a Saga for Our Times," 21 Apr. 2020 Here’s a break from the rough news: An inspiration to award-winning photographer Lynsey Addario, her spirited grandmother, Louise Bonito, already is getting cards ahead of her birthday on April 26. Chiara Goia, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 17 Apr. 2020 In an additional networked room, a man in a pink wig leads a spirited conversation about sustainable farming. Michelle Lhooq, Fortune, "People are paying real money to get into virtual Zoom nightclubs," 14 Apr. 2020 And then, there’s the spirited story of Cleveland Whiskey which, in normal times, makes bourbon and rye whiskey. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "Save a cop’s life by keeping your distance: Phillip Morris," 29 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spirited.' 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 spirited

1599, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spirited

Time Traveler

The first known use of spirited was in 1599

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Statistics for spirited

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spirited.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirited. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for spirited


How to pronounce spirited (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spirited

: full of courage or energy : very lively or determined


spir·​it·​ed | \ ˈspir-ə-təd How to pronounce spirited (audio) \

Kids Definition of spirited

: full of courage or energy a spirited horse a spirited debate

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