spir·​i·​tu·​al·​ism | \ ˈspir-i-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce spiritualism (audio) , -i-chə-ˌli-, -ich-wə-ˌli- \

Definition of spiritualism

1 : the view that spirit is a prime element of reality
2a : a belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living usually through a medium
b capitalized : a movement comprising religious organizations emphasizing spiritualism

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Other Words from spiritualism

spiritualist \ ˈspir-​i-​chə-​wə-​list How to pronounce spiritualism (audio) , -​i-​chə-​list , -​ich-​wə-​list \ noun, often capitalized
spiritualistic \ ˌspir-​i-​chə-​wə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce spiritualism (audio) , -​i-​chə-​ˈli-​ , -​ich-​wə-​ˈli-​ \ adjective

Examples of spiritualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Things Heard & Seen, now streaming on Netflix, is many things: a ghost story, a tense family drama, a crime thriller, and a celebration of art history and spiritualism. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The Fiery, Artsy Ending Of Netflix’s Things Heard And Seen, Explained," 2 May 2021 The Fox sisters, responsible for spiritualism’s precipitous rise, also contributed to its fall. Brandy Schillace, WSJ, "‘Out of the Shadows’ Review: Spirited Women," 30 Apr. 2021 Wallace, who co-discovered natural selection, came to embrace spiritualism in his later years. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Darwin’s ‘Descent of Man’ Holds Up 150 Years After Publication," 25 Feb. 2021 Over the years, Greeley had advocated vegetarianism, spiritualism and utopian socialism. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Flashback: A crisis of conscience over slavery gave birth to a formidable political force: The Republican Party," 26 Feb. 2021 To nonbelievers, this magical battle for America might seem frivolous, but the spiritualism is actually evidence of how deadly serious practitioners think this election is. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "TikTok Witches Are Hexing the Election This Halloween," 29 Oct. 2020 Father Bill Moore, a Catholic priest and prominent abstract expressionist who spent decades spreading spiritualism through his paintings, has died at 71. John Rogers, USA TODAY, "Bill Moore, Catholic priest who spread spiritualism with his abstract-expressionist paintings, dies," 20 Oct. 2020 When spiritualism, a religious movement rooted in the idea that the souls of the dead can communicate with the living, took off in the mid-19th century, some magicians began bringing supernatural elements to the stage. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Amazing Poster Art From the “Golden Age” of Magic," 4 Mar. 2020 Pater may have been a creature of 19th century spiritualism and aestheticism, his sensibility as alien to the Renaissance as to our own era of metrics and algorithms. Washington Post, "Quiet, please. At the Louvre’s ‘Léonard de Vinci’ exhibition, you’re in the presence of genius.," 29 Oct. 2019

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

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spiritualism

Time Traveler

The first known use of spiritualism was in 1749

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Statistics for spiritualism

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spiritualism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritualism. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of spiritualism

: a belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with living people

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