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

All of this drew the ire of the Court’s four liberals, expressed in a high-spirited if somewhat overwrought dissent by Justice Elena Kagan. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Supreme Court’s Fifth Amendment Reclamation," 23 June 2019 Meanwhile, Aunt Zelda, played by Miranda Otto, is dark-spirited with an austere flair. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Why The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is the Perfect Last-Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration," 25 Oct. 2018 Growing up in Oviedo, Letizia was a studious, high-spirited girl. Leah Mclaren, Newsweek, "Spain's Queen Letizia: Divorcee, War Reporter, TV Journalist... Republican?," 17 Sep. 2014 For a memorable warm weather aesthetic, opt for a cocktail of spirited and subtle. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Masters the Art of Summer Beauty at Heron Preston," 18 June 2019 Dazzling, spirited, effervescent even … all words to describe Rosanna. Peninsula Humane Society, The Mercury News, "Pet of the week: Rosanna," 14 June 2019 Italy and Greece are visually stunning places, the people are spirited, and the food is amazing. National Geographic, "Italy & Greece High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 But oh, those three adorable, high-spirited and sassy girls will give him a run for his money that has already given me lots of laughs. Pat Lenhoff, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Why we should celebrate the many unique roles of dads on Father's Day," 5 June 2019 The board had just finished a two-day retreat on campus, with blunt, spirited, sometimes emotional discussions about the university, its leadership and its future. Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "Michigan State board votes to keep Engler as president despite public pressure," 22 June 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

11 Jul 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 form ideas or theories about something

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