spir·it·ed | \ˈspir-ə-təd \

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

What started as a mean-spirited jab turned into something altogether empowering, which is inspiring in and of itself. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Mean-Spirited Tweet Goes Viral After People Fill the Replies With Compliments," 20 May 2018 In one of the stronger new stories, Darlene's son, Mark (Ames McNamara), a spirited 9-year-old who likes to wear skirts, discovers that Lanford, Illinois, is not as tolerant of daring fashion choices as his old home in Chicago. The New York Times, cleveland.com, "'Roseanne': A not-so-deplorable reboot," 26 Mar. 2018 The protest organizers oppose more military spending, and attracted a high-spirited, diverse crowd of thousands that wended through central Brussels while demonstrating on behalf of multiple causes during the peaceful march. Fox News, "European peace activists march against Trump's NATO visit," 7 July 2018 This time, their openers are the spirited, bluesy, and quickly up-and-coming Tanya Blount-Trotter and Michael Trotter Jr., a.k.a. Lauren Mccutcheon, Philly.com, "Lifeguard Championships, Barry Manilow and other things to do down the Shore," 5 July 2018 With a spirited home crowd cheering on, Russia made a memorable contribution to the World Cup’s history of upsets. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Russia adds to list of famous World Cup upsets," 2 July 2018 Bishop Michael Bruce Curry had Black Twitter shoutin’ during his spirited sermon at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal wedding this past Saturday. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "At First, Bishop Curry Believed Invitation To Preach At The Royal Wedding Was A Joke," 22 May 2018 The Fenway neighborhood is an experience in itself, with spirited fans lining the streets before games, exorbitant amounts of memorabilia, and tons of great bars to hang out in before and after. Jessi Walker, Marie Claire, "Weekend Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Eat and Drink in Boston," 22 May 2018 While mean-spirited in name, the contest promotes advocacy and adoption for all dogs, regardless of how mangy the mutts may be. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Zsa Zsa, the World's Ugliest Dog, dies at age 9," 10 July 2018

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

17 Oct 2018

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 \

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

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