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

The spirited Switzerland side who fought to keep Cristiano Ronaldo quiet on Wednesday were out on full show once more against England. SI.com, "Switzerland 0-0 England: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Three Lions Claim Third on Penalties," 9 June 2019 The spirited steed’s escape must have disappointed the jockey and the owners, and disconcerted the other competitors and serious bettors. Vanessa Hua, SFChronicle.com, "The curious power of a day at the races," 7 June 2019 The second day of ceremonies moved to France after spirited commemorations in Portsmouth, England, the main embarkation point for the transport boats. John Leicester, Anchorage Daily News, "D-Day 75: Nations honor surviving veterans and memory of fallen troops in ceremony above Normandy beaches," 6 June 2019 Free spirited and loose-lipped Dr. Ruth has never worried about criticism. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Dr. Ruth and ND’s Hesburgh share documentary tributes," 5 June 2019 Lawrence gives a spirited performance, surely someone told her ahead of time that this is the end of her contract. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Dark Phoenix is a joyless retelling of the X-Men’s most famous story," 5 June 2019 The organization wants to raise awareness about the deaths and disappearances of indigenous women, children, two-spirited (members of the LGBTQ community and others) and transgender people. USA TODAY, "Painting over history, saving cats’ claws, angry birds: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019 In the Air Tonight’ — which always elicits a spirited air-drum riff from Baker Mayfield — because Odell Beckham Jr. is feeling it. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Odell Beckham Jr. on the Browns’ potential: “I feel something in the air’," 5 June 2019 In that mean-spirited parting shot, Hudson did everything except call the Rapids mangy dogs. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: How the Rapids ended a soccer nightmare by finding treasure in their own backyard," 5 June 2019

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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Statistics for spirited

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spirited

The first known use of spirited was in 1599

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More Definitions for spirited



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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More from Merriam-Webster on spirited

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spirited

Spanish Central: Translation of spirited

Nglish: Translation of spirited for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spirited for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spirited

What made you want to look up spirited? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

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