spiritual

adjective
spir·​i·​tu·​al | \ ˈspir-i-chə-wəl How to pronounce spiritual (audio) , -i-chəl, -ich-wəl \

Definition of spiritual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal spiritual needs
2a : of or relating to sacred matters spiritual songs
b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal spiritual authority lords spiritual
3 : concerned with religious values
4 : related or joined in spirit our spiritual home his spiritual heir
5a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena
b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism : spiritualistic

spiritual

noun

Definition of spiritual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 spirituals plural : things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical, or religious nature
2 : a religious song usually of a deeply emotional character that was developed especially among Black people in the southern U.S.
3 capitalized : any of a party of 13th and 14th century Franciscans advocating strict observance of a rule of poverty for their order

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Other Words from spiritual

Adjective

spiritually adverb
spiritualness noun

Examples of spiritual in a Sentence

Adjective Doctors must consider the emotional and spiritual needs of their patients. I regularly consult our pastor about spiritual matters. The Romantic composers saw Beethoven as a spiritual ancestor. France will always be the spiritual home of wine lovers. Noun The congregation sang hymns and spirituals. sang a spiritual at the funeral
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With as many as five major hurricanes predicted this year, Our Lady’s spiritual in-box soon is sure to be teeming. Michelle Krupa, CNN, 1 June 2021 Hers was a life in two parts: a bohemian fantasy made real in the art scene of New York in the 1960s, followed by a detour into her own brand of globetrotting activism, tinged with the spiritual and philosophical. Alex Williams, New York Times, 7 May 2021 Seven represents the spiritual, as on that day God created Shabbat. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, 5 Apr. 2021 The truly spiritual will lead the way with Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Rev. Mike Taylor, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 19 Mar. 2021 Still, plenty of readers found the mix of the spiritual and the carnal rather a thrill. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2021 In his recurring role, Snoop Dogg will play Pastor Swift, the Flenory family’s spiritual advisor. Haley Bosselman, chicagotribune.com, 11 Mar. 2021 Norway was hit after the Dalai Lama, the spiritual (and once temporal) leader of Tibet, won the Nobel peace prize, which is awarded by a Norwegian jury. The Economist, 27 Feb. 2021 Smith’s attorney, an investigator, and his spiritual advisor Pastor Robert Wiley Jr. will be present for his execution. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, 12 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Zoll covered religion in all its aspects, from the spiritual to the political, and her stories reached a global audience. David Crary, ajc, 8 May 2021 The whole tradition of British empiricism that followed on from Locke is defined by this prioritization of the physical over the spiritual and the transcendent. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 23 Apr. 2021 Zoll covered religion in all its aspects, from the spiritual to the political, and her stories reached a global audience. David Crary, ajc, 8 May 2021 Zoll covered religion in all its aspects, from the spiritual to the political, and her stories reached a global audience. David Crary, ajc, 8 May 2021 Zoll covered religion in all its aspects, from the spiritual to the political, and her stories reached a global audience. David Crary, Star Tribune, 7 May 2021 Minnesota United brings fans back on Saturday night and not Sunday morning, but their return after 18 months away nonetheless might border on the spiritual. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 The spiritual is a combination of African musical traditions and European Christian hymns. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2021 Brought up by agnostic parents, Van Stockum still had a deep sense of the spiritual from an early age, which impelled her toward religion and, ultimately, God. Sarah Schutte, National Review, 14 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spiritual.' 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 spiritual

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spiritual

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French espirital, spiritual, from Late Latin spiritualis, from Latin, of breathing, of wind, from spiritus

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Time Traveler for spiritual

Time Traveler

The first known use of spiritual was in the 14th century

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Statistics for spiritual

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spiritual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritual. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for spiritual

spiritual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of spiritual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a person's spirit
: of or relating to religion or religious beliefs
: having similar values and ideas : related or joined in spirit

spiritual

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spiritual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a religious folk song that was sung originally by African-Americans in the southern U.S.

spiritual

adjective
spir·​i·​tu·​al | \ ˈspir-i-chə-wəl How to pronounce spiritual (audio) \

Kids Definition of spiritual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of spirit : not bodily or material "Sometimes we can't know what spiritual damage it leaves even when physical recovery is complete."— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
2 : of or relating to sacred or religious matters

Other Words from spiritual

spiritually adverb

spiritual

noun

Kids Definition of spiritual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a religious folk song developed especially among African-Americans of the southern United States

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