spir·​i·​tu·​al·​ism ˈspir-i-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce spiritualism (audio)
: the view that spirit is a prime element of reality
: a belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living usually through a medium
capitalized : a movement comprising religious organizations emphasizing spiritualism
ˈspir-i-chə-wə-list How to pronounce spiritualism (audio)
noun often capitalized
ˌspir-i-chə-wə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce spiritualism (audio)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Art and Soul Hilma af Klint explored abstraction and spiritualism in her paintings. Katharine K. Zarrella, wsj.com, 28 Apr. 2023 For me, spiritualism is an emotion. Jake Coyle, ajc, 20 July 2022 Doyle lived near the Piltdown site and resented the scientific community for mocking his belief in spiritualism. Eric A. Powell, Discover Magazine, 20 Aug. 2012 The subculture has not only embraced vaccine hesitancy—once primarily a creature of the left—but also fringe health and dietary practices that recall the wildest excesses of 1960s new age spiritualism. Graham Gallagher, The New Republic, 25 Nov. 2022 The edgy horror, sure, but also the blending of genres, tangling sci-fi and spiritualism. Goldie Chan, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 During the Victorian era, spiritualism came into vogue thanks to acts such as the Fox sisters, whose career performing public seances began with convincing neighbors that their home was haunted. Rachel Kurzius, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 In 1922 and 1923, Pruden performed seances with which famous author and believer in spiritualism? Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 30 Oct. 2022 Solace came to her through spiritualism, the popular movement that allegedly put the living in direct contact with the dead. David S. Reynolds, The New York Review of Books, 21 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spiritualism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spiritualism was in 1749

Dictionary Entries Near spiritualism

Cite this Entry

“Spiritualism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritualism. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


spir·​i·​tu·​al·​ism ˈspir-ich-(ə-)wə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce spiritualism (audio)
: a belief that the spirits of the dead communicate with the living
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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