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 blacks 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 This brute link between abnormal activity patterns—whether induced by the spontaneous disease process or controlled by a surgeon’s electrode—and subjective experience provides support for a biological, not spiritual, origin. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about the Brain," 19 May 2020 Even among the spin studio's particular style of quasi-spiritual, super-inspirational coaching, Akman stood out. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "Akin Akman Is Here To Restore Our Quarantine Workout Motivation," 14 May 2020 The subject matter is spiritual, and pretty druggy. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The Midnight Gospel is a heartfelt cosmic masterpiece: Review," 7 May 2020 Devi coming face to face with a coyote would not only be majestic and spiritual, but also dangerous. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "The Writers of "Never Have I Ever" Talking About How Devi's Iconic TikTok Dance Came to Life," 5 May 2020 People have been using various kinds of isolation to protect themselves and others, and to inspire moral and spiritual growth, for centuries. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "Self-isolation has its roots in ancient times," 23 Apr. 2020 In many Hindu ashrams, the practice of yoga and meditation merge, bringing the spiritual, physical, and psychological together. Eleanor Cummins, Popular Science, "Meditation apps want to calm you down on the same device that stresses you out," 7 Apr. 2020 As many Americans are largely isolated at home due to the pandemic, both formal and informal religious groups are finding new ways to meet the spiritual, psychological and even day-to-day physical needs of their congregants. Tara Law, Time, "'It's Like a Lifeline.' How Religious Leaders Are Helping People Stay Connected in a Time of Isolation," 1 Apr. 2020 Achieve your highest ideals by aligning them with your spiritual beliefs. oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 4, 2020: Aries, new romance may flounder; Virgo, catch up on reading," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a contralto, Anderson’s repertoire included classical music, popular songs, and spirituals. Caroline Rogers, Southern Living, "A New Documentary Celebrates the Legendary 20th Century Singer Marian Anderson," 30 May 2020 And many of the songs sung are rooted in African American spirituals passed down from enslaved ancestors. Andrew J. Yawn, USA TODAY, "Jazz funerals, normally a 'celebration of life,' are silenced: New Orleans grieves differently now," 25 Apr. 2020 The Dallas Opera has live-streamed several performances, including a vocal recital with spirituals sung by bass-baritone Mark S. Doss. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Classical music groups turn to the internet to reach audiences during pandemic," 1 Apr. 2020 King says Plump plans to sing Negro spirituals and talk about music history to accompany his tours. al, "Comedienne Joy launches bus tours of Birmingham civil rights landmarks," 19 Jan. 2020 His African-American assistant, Harry Burleigh, turned spirituals into concert songs with electrifying success beginning in 1913. Joseph Horowitz, WSJ, "A Symphony to Link Africa and America," 7 Feb. 2020 As a black spiritual hums on the soundtrack, Hooded Justice perorates about the legacy of being the victim—not the complicit or recruited perpetrator—of violence: My mama played the piano right over there. Namwali Serpell, The New York Review of Books, "In the Time of Monsters," 24 Mar. 2020 The Czech composer encouraged Americans to use African American spirituals and Native American melodies as the themes of European-style symphonies. Los Angeles Times, "Review: L.A. Phil’s Ives-Dvorák cycle seemed like a bad idea. Dudamel made it a revelation," 25 Feb. 2020 Many of Seeger’s recordings were his versions of folk standards, union songs, spirituals and discoveries from all over the world—usually on banjo, but sometimes on guitar. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, "Grammy Nod to Folkways’ Pete Seeger Collection Is a Fitting Tribute," 13 Feb. 2020

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

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spiritual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritual. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for spiritual

spiritual

adjective
How to pronounce spiritual (audio)

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 black people of the southern United States

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Comments on spiritual

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