1The energy or spirit that animates living creatures; the soul.
- 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
- 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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