soul

1 of 2

noun

1
: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2
a
: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
b
capitalized Christian Science : god sense 1b
3
: a person's total self
4
a
: an active or essential part
b
: a moving spirit : leader
5
a
: the moral and emotional nature of human beings
b
: the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment
c
: spiritual or moral force : fervor
6
: person
not a soul in sight
7
: personification
she is the soul of integrity
8
a
: a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by African American performers
b
: cultural consciousness and pride among people of African heritage
d

soul

2 of 2

adjective

: of, relating to, or characteristic of Black Americans or their culture
It will feature various local musicians such as Faithe, Rashawn Stallworth and Jamal Steele, all who embody a hip-hop and soul style to their music. Kamal Morgan
see also soul brother, soul food, soul music, soul sister

Example Sentences

Noun the souls of the dead He could not escape the guilt that he felt in the inner recesses of his soul. Some poor soul was asking for handouts on the street. a village of barely a hundred souls
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
After a successful first edition last year, local retro-soul band Hollyy returns to Sleeping Village to headline this chill, accessible concert. Britt Julious, Chicago Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 In the film, the parents are the embodiment of art vs. science, battling for their child’s soul. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2022 And not surprisingly, that means there’s potential for some soul-crushing traffic. Ian Duncan, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2022 Dozens of stars are set to perform in this year's Thanksgiving Day event, including singer/songwriter Jordin Sparks, soul singer Joss Stone, jazz artist Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, reggae artist Ziggy Marley and more. Marnie Hunter, CNN, 23 Nov. 2022 And then the other comp is a New Orleans second line funeral procession, the joy and soul of that. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Nov. 2022 In 2023, zeroing in on your body, mind and soul is a great way to organize your long-term goals for the new year. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 22 Nov. 2022 The food at La Fondita, found in the former Park Kitchen, resembles Republica’s early lunch menu, with a soul-nourishing menudo, a spot-on sopa de fideo and the tri-color quesadilla with its signature swoosh of salsa matcha. oregonlive, 21 Nov. 2022 The clincher — the soul killer — came with six minutes left, and the team that had struggled on the offensive boards grabbed three in a row. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2022
Adjective
Learn soul line-dances choreographed to R&B, jazz, gospel and Latin tunes. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, 9 July 2018 Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh threw for nine touchdowns and was named the game's MVP. baltimoresun.com, 13 Aug. 2017 Harper’s Cabin Learn about the history, nutrition and culture of African American foods, and about how soul food became important to African American families, their churches and social gatherings. Washington Post, 26 July 2017 Among its fans is soul artist Jimmy Levy of Miami, who was encouraged by his manager to try RecordGram, Mendelson said. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, 23 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soul.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English soule, from Old English sāwol; akin to Old High German sēula soul

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of soul was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near soul

Cite this Entry

“Soul.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soul. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

soul 1 of 2

noun

1
: the spiritual part of a person believed to give life to the body and in many religions thought to live forever
2
a
: the necessary part of something
b
: a person who leads or stirs others to action : leader
the soul of the campaign
3
a
: the part of one's personality having to do with feelings and the sense of what is right and wrong
felt my soul rebel against injustice
b
: spiritual force : fervor
4
: person
a kind soul
5
a
: a strong positive feeling conveyed especially by black American performers
souled
ˈsōld
adjective

soul

2 of 2

adjective

1
: of or relating to black Americans or their culture
soul food
2
: designed for or controlled by blacks
soul radio stations

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