Synonyms of spirit in English:
3 that's the spirit
attitude, frame of mind, way of thinking, point of view, outlook, thoughts, ideas
5 team spirit
morale, esprit de corps
I realize that this word does have a legitimate scientific usage—it's the part of the cell that lies just beneath the outer membrane—but the meaning that intrigues me has something (understandably vague and mysterious) to do with the spirits of the dead. It's the stuff ghosts are made of, or alternately, some substance that signals an active communication between spiritualist mediums and those who have, as the mediums themselves would say, passed over. A trace of ectoplasm indicated that a ghost had visited the seance. It does make you wonder about the first moment when someone decided that there was a need for such a word, and that ectoplasm would do nicely.Francine Prose
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