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

Following her best-selling debut book, Julia Reed’s South, this brand-new cookbook from frequent ED contributor Julia Reed offers recipes, party playlists, and bit of New Orleans history for anyone who wants to throw a spirited Big Easy bash. Jennifer Milne, ELLE Decor, "How to Throw a New Orleans-Style Fete, According to Julia Reed," 11 Apr. 2019 Maisie plays the rebellious and spirited Arya, a master at swordplay, while Sophie’s Sansa is quietly powerful and queenly. Allure, "See How Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams & Sophie Turner's Beauty Looks Have Evolved Throughout the Years," 11 Apr. 2019 The streets of West Hollywood were shut down on Sunday for a spirited block party celebrating the opening of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Samantha Brooks, Vogue, "Everyone From Mayor Eric Garcetti to Shangela Came Out to the Opening of the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood," 10 Apr. 2019 However, not everyone was dissatisfied—some onlookers enjoyed the spirited display. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean's ACMs Performance Left People Seriously Upset," 8 Apr. 2019 In a statement, Ellison said the DNC should not get involved in primary fights such as the one in New York, where Cuomo is facing a spirited challenge from the left from actress-activist Cynthia Nixon. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "The House is revolting," 25 May 2018 Cuomo is seeking for a third term and facing a spirited primary challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon, who is running to his left. NBC News, "DNC chief Tom Perez infuriates left with intervention in Cuomo race," 24 May 2018 With Mia Manganello skating superbly to complete the trio, the Americans fought off a spirited challenge from Canada to triumph in the bronze-medal showdown. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "U.S. women finally win bronze in speedskating team pursuit at 2018 Winter Olympics," 21 Feb. 2018 Sagittarians are cosmic archers: Bodacious, free-spirited, and perpetually curious. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Sagittarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 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

18 Apr 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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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