Definition of spiritual in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspiriCH(o͞o)əl/


1Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things: I’m responsible for his spiritual welfare the spiritual values of life
More example sentences
  • Ackroyd may have jettisoned traditional Catholicism, but in his work humans are spiritual beings with souls that survive death and time.
  • Our spiritual existence affects our physical existence, and vice versa.
  • Encouraging mutuality acknowledges that our spiritual existence affects our physical existence.
nonmaterial, incorporeal, intangible;
inner, mental, psychological;
transcendent, ethereal, otherworldly, mystic, mystical, metaphysical
1.1(Of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.
Example sentences
  • It is full of thought, and she was an intellectual and spiritual person.
  • We are trying to be spiritual people in this field.
  • ‘We're spiritual people, but we've got our feet on the ground,’ Christophere explains.
2Relating to religion or religious belief: the tribe’s spiritual leader
More example sentences
  • What happens to the religious or spiritual beliefs of soldiers when they go to battle?
  • While we respect religious creeds, spiritual leaders and church councils, none of these can bind our consciences or force us to believe or observe anything outside of Bible truth.
  • Lately, however, methods have been developed to assess religiosity and spiritual beliefs.


(also Negro spiritual)
A religious song of a kind associated with black Christians of the southern US, and thought to derive from the combination of European hymns and African musical elements by black slaves.
Example sentences
  • The Cwmbach Male Voice Choir entertained with a traditional repertoire of Welsh hymns, spirituals and songs from opera and the shows.
  • One of the first, Songs of Zion was published by the United Methodist Church and contains a history of black music in addition to hymns, spirituals and gospel songs.
  • In this collection are old British and American ballads, Civil War songs, blues, frolic tunes, children's games, nonsense songs, lullabies, spirituals, and more.


one's spiritual home

A place in which one feels a profound sense of belonging: I had always thought of Italy as my spiritual home
More example sentences
  • The Taliban was in total disarray and heading for the hills last night after losing control of Jalalabad and appearing to have been ousted from Kandahar, their spiritual home.
  • As warm-up for Joan Rivers, the odd couple found their spiritual home on stage - as she put it, ‘the best opening act in their price range’.
  • Football once again showed its power to unite last night as hundreds of Bradford City fans descended on their spiritual home as the club's desperate battle for survival stepped up a gear.


Middle English: from Old French spirituel, from Latin spiritualis, from spiritus (see spirit).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spir·it·u·al

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