from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The inner self of an individual; the soul.
  • n. In Jungian psychology:
  • n. The unconscious or true inner self of an individual, as opposed to the persona, or outer aspect of the personality.
  • n. The feminine inner personality, as present in the unconscious of the male. It is in contrast to the animus, which represents masculine characteristics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The soul or inner self of a person.
  • n. The inner self (not the external persona) of a person that is in touch with the unconscious as opposed to the persona.
  • n. The unconscious feminine aspect of a male.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Soul; vital principle; the intelligent principle supposed to preside over vital actions: anciently applied to the active principle of a drug, as if this were its soul.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Jungian psychology) the inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious


Latin; see anə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin anima ("a current of air, wind, air, breath, the vital principle, life, soul"), sometimes equivalent to animus ("mind"), both from Proto-Indo-European *ane- (“to breathe, blow”); see animus. Cognate with Ancient Greek άνεμος (ánemos, "wind"), Old English anda ("anger, envy, zeal"). More at onde. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.