Definition of vital force in English:

vital force

Syllabification: vi·tal force


  • 1The energy or spirit that animates living creatures; the soul.
    More example sentences
    • Chief among these teachings is that the body is not an independent material organism and that good health depends on a harmonious relationship between the physical body, spirit or vital force, the soul, and the ego.
    • It was believed that a mirror could hold onto the soul and vital force of the person reflected, so if the mirror was covered, the deceased's soul would not be fettered to the deathbed.
    • The Hebrew words ruah, meaning breath or wind or spirit, and nefesh, the vital force in every individual, human and animal, that which brings flesh alive.
  • 1.1 Philosophy (In some theories, particularly that of Bergson) a hypothetical force, independent of physical and chemical forces, regarded as being the causative factor in the evolution and development of living organisms.
    [translating French élan vital]
    More example sentences
    • Many scientists believed in the early nineteenth century that organic matter was the product of a vital force operating in living organisms, which the chemist could never mimic in the laboratory.
    • The idea of vital force, believed to be locked away in molecules of natural origin, was destroyed in 1828 when Wohler produced the naturally-occurring substance urea from inorganic starting materials.
    • He must assure himself that this historic crystal was the same as that formed under the influence of the so-called vital force.
  • 1.2A person or thing that gives something vitality and strength: he was a vital force in British music
    More example sentences
    • Rock and roll is a tremendously vital force in pop culture, no doubt.
    • They knew that religion is a vital force in India that should not be legislated away.
    • ‘Public opinion,’ Morgan declared, ‘is the vital force in every law in a free government.’

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody