Definition of spirit in English:

spirit

Line breaks: spirit
Pronunciation: /ˈspɪrɪt
 
/

noun

  • 1The non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul: we seek a harmony between body and spirit
    More example sentences
    • I believe in this way that the soul/spirit is reflected by the body, that the soul gives life to the body and without a spirit or soul the body and brain are dead.
    • No doubt you've guessed that I think I believe in reincarnation - the doctrine of the rebirth of the spirit / soul in different bodies.
    • And most amazing, we get to receive the Eucharist into our spirits, souls and bodies.
    Synonyms
    soul, psyche, inner self, inner being, essential being; Philosophy pneuma; Psychology anima, ego, id; in ancient Egypt ka; Hinduism atman
  • 1.1The non-physical part of a person regarded as their true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation: a year after he left, his spirit is still present
    More example sentences
    • YET I remained basically sceptical when it came to the idea that the spirit survives death.
    • If something survives, if a spirit continues, it sure isn't me.
    • According to spiritualists, the spirit dwells in the physical body, but can leave it temporarily or permanently.
    Synonyms
    life force, animating principle, vital spark, breath of life; French élan vital
  • 1.2The non-physical part of a person manifested as an apparition after their death; a ghost: a priest performed a rite of exorcism and the wandering spirit was ousted
    More example sentences
    • In this sense, ‘ghosts’ mean the spirits, the apparition of the dead or the devils.
    • Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods; those in the mode of passion worship the demons; and those in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.
    • The movie Ghost also involves spirits who have unfinished business on planet Earth, but in this case, the ghost is here to assist the living.
    Synonyms
    ghost, phantom, spectre, apparition, wraith, shadow, presence; Scottish & Irish bodach; German Doppelgänger; West Indian duppy
    informal spook
    rare eidolon, manes
  • 1.3A supernatural being: shrines to nature spirits
    More example sentences
    • The kami can be likened to nature spirits, and Shinto shrines are usually found in areas of natural beauty.
    • Surya, God of the Sun, is worshiped and the nature spirits are thanked.
    • The Japanese culture and arts have been strongly influenced by a wide-spread belief in ghosts, demons and supernatural spirits.
  • 1.4 (Spirit) short for Holy Spirit.
    More example sentences
    • They do not see the cross, and so they do not see the kingdom of God and new life in the Spirit.
    • If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
    • The Spirit frees the Father to let the Son go, and so actually to love him.
  • 3The real meaning or the intention behind something as opposed to its strict verbal interpretation: the rule had been broken in spirit if not in letter
    More example sentences
    • The show, which has been running in Athy for almost ten years, unites the town into the real spirit and meaning of Christmas.
    • Despite being old, this definition gives the spirit behind the discipline.
    • The spirit and intent of this rule dovetails with the interpretation of rule 21.02 I have suggested.
    Synonyms
    real/true meaning, true intention, essence, substance
  • 4 (usually spirits) chiefly British Strong distilled alcoholic drink such as brandy, whisky, gin, or rum.
    More example sentences
    • The type of alcohol ranged from beers, lagers and cider to spirits, wine and designer drinks such as Hooch, Bacardi Breezers and Maverick Ice.
    • Most of them are used to mature spirits: various brandies, rums, and whiskies.
    • It is the home of a drinking establishment known as the Old Devil Inn, purveyors of strong ales, stronger spirits and artery-clogging pub food.
    Synonyms
    strong liquor, liquor, strong drink; gin, vodka, whisky, brandy, rum
    informal hard stuff, shorts, firewater, hooch
  • 4.1 [mass noun, with modifier] A volatile liquid, especially a fuel, prepared by distillation: aviation spirit
    More example sentences
    • In recent years, however, and mostly in urban areas, high - octane fuel and methylated spirit have been added to enhance potency.
    • The tanker he was driving was carrying more than 32,000 litres of petroleum spirit and 5,000 litres of diesel fuel.
    • In January 1929, for instance, only two loaded vessels arrived, one with petroleum spirit from Liverpool and the other with cement from London.
  • 4.2 archaic A solution of volatile components extracted from something, typically by distillation or by solution in alcohol: spirits of turpentine
    More example sentences
    • Spots on all finishes except lacquer can be treated with a cloth dampened with spirits of camphor, essence of peppermint or oil of wintergreen.
  • 5 archaic A highly refined substance or fluid thought to govern vital phenomena.
    More example sentences
    • For it, he drew once again on Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, and proposed that it was one part of a complicated system involving animal and vital spirits.
    • I am exceedingly melancholy of complexion, subject to consumptions and chilliness of my vital spirits, a slavish and sickly life being allotted to me in his city.
    • It passes from the liver to the heart where it revitalises the vital spirit and to brain where it revitalises the animal spirits.

verb (spirits, spiriting, spirited)

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  • 1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Convey rapidly and secretly: stolen cows were spirited away some distance to prevent detection
    More example sentences
    • Frank rescues the couple and their about-to-be born child, spiriting them to a secret home deep in the woods, where their child will join two others that have been saved.
    • Shaggy's enjoyed our fair share of kind offers to have our anatomy enlarged, become an ordained minister online or join a deceased dictator's family in spiriting millions of dollars out of Africa.
    • A spokesman for Caritas said simply, ‘most of them are reducing their staff as much as possible’ and spiriting them out to safety.
    Synonyms
    abduct, kidnap, make off with, run away with, whisk away, carry off, steal away with, snatch, seize; abscond with

Phrases

enter into the spirit

Join wholeheartedly in an event, especially one of celebration and festivity: he entered into the spirit of the occasion by dressing as a pierrot
More example sentences
  • Schoolchildren in North Craven are entering into the spirit of Comic Relief with various fundraising events.
  • It's not just about money, it's about entering into the spirit across the nation.
  • These youths were not entering into the spirit of Halloween but just causing anti-social behaviour and it is particularly frightening for elderly people.

in (or in the) spirit

In thought or intention though not physically: he couldn’t be here in person, but he is with us in spirit
More example sentences
  • In other words, they might be in France physically but in spirit they might be as well be in Saudi Arabia.
  • Wick had hoped he'd at least have Jared backing him up, either physically or in spirit.
  • "The fallen are here in spirit with us today," said the VFW member, who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

proverb Someone has good intentions but fails to live up to them.
[with biblical allusion to Matt. 26:41]
More example sentences
  • When the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, let these 100% cotton panties do the talking for you, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’
  • Who knows, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and again subject to pain in the nether regions from the saddle.
  • On the contrary, it is an all too common experience that your evaluative commitments lead you on one path but that you go nonetheless on another: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

when the spirit moves someone

When someone feels inclined to do something: he can be quite candid when the spirit moves him
[a phrase originally in Quaker use, with reference to the Holy Spirit]
More example sentences
  • The Rams can still move the ball in explosive fashion when the spirit moves them, but their weak defense and special teams and front-office paranoia are major detriments.
  • But when the spirit moves you, you respond: A group of women suddenly sat down on the road in a line clear across the street and completely blocked all passage of cars.
  • The two nameless pieces of Duh are built out of guitars, samples, amplifier hums, drum machines, effects processors, and, when the spirit moves them, garbled screaming.

the spirit world

(In animistic and occult belief) the non-physical realm in which disembodied spirits have their existence.
More example sentences
  • Many, he said, were attracted to the occult simply by curiosity, and then by a desire to investigate the proof it offered of the existence of the spirit world.
  • Korean shamans communicated with the spirit world.
  • Jesus is now a spirit that one can communicate with in the spirit world.

Phrasal verbs

spirit someone up

archaic Stimulate, animate, or cheer up someone: well, I shall spirit up the Colonel as soon as I can
More example sentences
  • Teatime, even just to indulge in the pervasive smell of Blue Mountain or Santos coffee will spirit you up.
  • Therefore, you can have the initiative: show him you appreciate him, make him feel safe and try to spirit him up.
  • Our teachers might sometimes ask Frank to entertain all of the class to spirit us up.

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin spiritus 'breath, spirit', from spirare 'breathe'.

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