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 Before Bohn’s time at USC, the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes also had their way with the Trojans, prompting the first spirited critiques of Clay Helton among a fan base that has grown more tortured since. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Mike Bohn playing the long game when it comes to Clay Helton and USC football," 4 Jan. 2021 Fairbanks built into the part gave creative leeway to spirited successors like Banderas and director Martin Campbell, and Guy Williams and the Disney TV team. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 Through seven games, Jones leads Stanford in points (15.4), rebounds (10.1) and assists (4.1) per game while shooting 61.3% from the field — a spirited return from the knee injury that interrupted her freshman season. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Stanford’s Haley Jones has returned from injury better than ever for No. 1 Cardinal," 31 Dec. 2020 Next April’s municipal elections may be a spirited affair as the slate of school board candidates put forth by the Lake Forest Caucus is set to face challenges in both of the city’s school districts. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Lake Forest will see competitive school board elections," 30 Dec. 2020 Here, Derian offers seven ideas from his own homes and stores for accenting any room with a fresh eye and spirited style. Star Tribune, "How a pro decorates with antiques and flea market finds," 29 Dec. 2020 Markelle Fultz sparked a 9-0 run late in fourth quarter as the Magic turned away the Wizards for a 130-120 victory in a spirited meeting Saturday night at Capital One Arena. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Markelle Fultz leads Magic to road win over Wizards," 26 Dec. 2020 In a 90-minute phone interview Tuesday—less than 24 hours after the announcement of his resignation, effective Dec. 23—he sounded his usual spirited self. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "William Barr: ‘One Standard of Justice’," 18 Dec. 2020 To show his gratitude for the spirited staff member, Kiner had a T-shirt made with Rapking’s name on it, along with the high school’s logo and the signatures of all of Roger Bacon’s football players. Jeanette Settembre, Fox News, "Future LSU Tigers running back Corey Kiner thanks high school janitor in heartfelt tribute," 18 Dec. 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

1601, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spirited

Time Traveler

The first known use of spirited was in 1601

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Statistics for spirited

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spirited.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirited. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on spirited

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