American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
- n. Incorporeal consciousness.
- n. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
- n. The Holy Spirit.
- n. A supernatural being, as:
- n. An angel or a demon.
- n. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.
- n. A fairy or sprite.
- n. The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings: Though unable to join us today, they are with us in spirit.
- n. The essential nature of a person or group.
- n. A person as characterized by a stated quality: He is a proud spirit.
- n. An inclination or tendency of a specified kind: Her actions show a generous spirit.
- n. A causative, activating, or essential principle: The couple's engagement was announced in a joyous spirit.
- n. A mood or an emotional state: The guests were in high spirits. His sour spirits put a damper on the gathering.
- n. A particular mood or an emotional state characterized by vigor and animation: sang with spirit.
- n. Strong loyalty or dedication: team spirit.
- n. The predominant mood of an occasion or a period: "The spirit of 1776 is not dead” ( Thomas Jefferson).
- n. The actual though unstated sense or significance of something: the spirit of the law.
- n. An alcohol solution of an essential or volatile substance. Often used in the plural with a singular verb.
- n. An alcoholic beverage, especially distilled liquor.
- v. To carry off mysteriously or secretly: The documents had been spirited away.
- v. To impart courage, animation, or determination to; inspirit.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. According to old and primitive modes of thought, an invisible corporeal thing of an airy nature, scarcely material, the principle of life, mediating between soul and body. The primitive and natural notion of life was that it consisted of the breath, and in most languages words etymologically signifying ‘breath’ are used to mean the principle of life. Spirit is one of these, and translates the Greek
πνευ%26μα. The ordinary notion of the Greek philosophers was that the soul is warm air. This was strengthened by the discovery, about the time of Aristotle (who, however, does not share the opinion), of the distinction between the veins and the arteries. It is found elaborately developed in the writings of the Stoics, and especially of Galen. The spirit in the body exists in various degrees of fineness. The coarser kinds confer only vegetative life, and betray themselves in eructations, etc.; there are, besides, a vital spirit ( πνευ%26μα ζωοτικόν) and an animal or psychical spirit ( πνευ%26μα ψυχικόν). At birth man was said to possess only vegetative spirit, but as soon as he draws breath this was thought to be carried through the left ventricle and the arteries to every part of the body, becoming triturated, and conveying animal life to the whole. The spirits were also said to be in different states of tension or tone, causing greater or less energy of body and mind. The vital spirits, being carried to the ventricles of the brain, were there further refined, and converted into spirits of sense, or animal spirits. In vision these spirits dart out from the eye to the object though this be the most distant star, and immediately return laden in some form with information. This doctrine, modified by the addition of an incorporeal soul, and confused with the Hebrew conception of a spirit, was generally believed down to and into the scientific era. Old writers, therefore, who use phrases which are still employed metaphorically must be understood as meaning them literally. See def. 3.
- n. The principle of life conceived as a fragment of the divine essence breathed into man by God. This conception is developed in the Old and New Testaments, in the writings of the Neoplatonists, and by theologians. In Biblical and theological language the spirit is the highest part of human nature, as most akin to the divine, connected mediately with the body through the soul, and spoken of alone, or in contradistinction to the body, or as distinguished from both body and soul (see
- n. Metaphorically, animation; vivacity; exuberance of life; cheerfulness; courage; mettle; temper; humor; mood: usually in the plural. But in old writers this meaning is not figurative, since they conceived this quality to be due to the tension of animal spirits.
- n. A peculiar animating and inspiring principle; dominant influence; genius; that which pervades and tempers the conduct and thought of men, either singly or (especially) in bodies, and characterizes them or their works.
- n. The essence, real meaning, or intent of any statement, command, or contract: opposed to letter.
- n. Incorporeal, immaterial being or principle; personality, or a personality, unconnected or only associated with a body: in Biblical use applied to God, and specifically to the third person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit); also to supernatural good and evil beings (angels).
- n. A person considered with respect to his peculiar characteristics of mind or temper, especially as shown in action; a man of life, fire, energy, enterprise, courage, or the like, who influences or dominates: as, the leading spirits of the movement were arrested.
- n. A disembodied soul, or a soul naturally destitute of an ordinary solid body; an apparition of such a being; a specter; a ghost.
- n. A supernatural being; an angel, fairy, elf, sprite, demon, or the like.
- n. A subtle fluid contained in a particular substance, and conferring upon it its peculiar properties. In Bacon's philosophy, such a fluid for each kind of substance, living or dead.
- n. In old chemistry, a liquor obtained by distillation; often in the plural.
- n. A strong alcoholic liquor; in a restricted sense, such a liquor variously treated in the process of distillation, and used as a beverage or medicinally, as brandy, whisky, and gin; in the plural, any strong distilled liquor.
- n. A solution of tin in an acid, used in dyeing.
- n. An aspirate; a breathing, as the letter h.
- n. The essence or active principle of anything.
- n. In mod. German philos., the highest mode of existence; also, anything possessing such existence.
- n. By inspiration; by or under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- n. Synonyms Life, Liveliness, etc. (see animation), force, resolution.
- n. 4. Drift, gist, sense, significance, nature.
- n. Soul, Intellect, etc. (see mind); inner self, vital essence.
- To animate; inspire; inspirit; excite; encourage; enliven; cheer: sometimes with up.
- To convey away rapidly and secretly, as if by the agency of a spirit; kidnap: generally with off, away, or other adverb of direction.
- To treat with spirits.
- n. One of an officially recognized class of pharmaceutical preparations, formerly made by distilling with alcohol a crude drug containing some volatile and medicinally useful ingredient, but now frequently by direct solution in alcohol of this ingredient, such as a volatile oil or essence, previously obtained in separate form. Spirit of cinnamon is an example.
- n. The undying essence of a human. The soul.
- n. A supernatural being, often but not exclusively without physical form; ghost, fairy, angel.
- n. enthusiasm
- n. The manner or style of something.
- n. usually plural A volatile liquid, such as alcohol. The plural form spirits is a generic term for distilled alcoholic beverages.
- n. Energy.
- v. To carry off, especially in haste, secrecy, or mystery.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself.
- n. obsolete A rough breathing; an aspirate, as the letter
h; also, a mark to denote aspiration; a breathing.
- n. Life, or living substance, considered independently of corporeal existence; an intelligence conceived of apart from any physical organization or embodiment; vital essence, force, or energy, as distinct from matter.
- n. The intelligent, immaterial and immortal part of man; the soul, in distinction from the body in which it resides; the agent or subject of vital and spiritual functions, whether spiritual or material.
- n. Specifically, a disembodied soul; the human soul after it has left the body.
- n. Any supernatural being, good or bad; an apparition; a specter; a ghost; also, sometimes, a sprite,; a fairy; an elf.
- n. Energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage, etc.
- n. One who is vivacious or lively; one who evinces great activity or peculiar characteristics of mind or temper.
- n. Temper or disposition of mind; mental condition or disposition; intellectual or moral state; -- often in the plural.
- n. Intent; real meaning; -- opposed to the
letter, or to formal statement; also, characteristic quality, especially such as is derived from the individual genius or the personal character.
- n. Tenuous, volatile, airy, or vapory substance, possessed of active qualities.
- n. Any liquid produced by distillation; especially, alcohol, the
spirits, or spirit, of wine (it having been first distilled from wine): -- often in the plural.
- n. Rum, whisky, brandy, gin, and other distilled liquors having much alcohol, in distinction from wine and malt liquors.
- n. (Med.) A solution in alcohol of a volatile principle. Cf. Tincture.
- n. (Alchemy) Any one of the four substances, sulphur, sal ammoniac, quicksilver, or arsenic (or, according to some, orpiment).
- n. (Dyeing) Stannic chloride. See under Stannic.
- v. To animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to inspirit; ; -- sometimes followed by
- v. To convey rapidly and secretly, or mysteriously, as if by the agency of a spirit; to kidnap; -- often with
away, or off.
- n. a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character
- n. the state of a person's emotions (especially with regard to pleasure or dejection)
- n. animation and energy in action or expression
- n. an inclination or tendency of a certain kind
- n. the vital principle or animating force within living things
- n. any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
- v. infuse with spirit
- n. the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people
- n. the intended meaning of a communication
- From Middle English spirit, from Old French espirit ("spirit"), from Latin spīritus ("breath; spirit"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peys- (“to blow, breathe”). Compare inspire, respire, transpire, all ultimately from Latin spīrō ("I breathe, blow, respire"). Cognate with Old English fisting ("(silent) breaking of wind"). Displaced native Middle English gast ("spirit") (from Old English gāst ("breath, soul, spirit")). More at fist. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French espirit, from Latin spīritus, breath, from spīrāre, to breathe. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“As a proof that this view of the construction is correct, let L.B.L. substitute for "delighted spirit", _spirit no longer delighted_, and he will find that it gives precisely the sense which he deduces from the passage as it stands.”
“Now the spirit is Life, and throughout the universe Life ultimately consists in _circulation_, whether within the physical body of the individual or on the scale of the entire solar system; and circulation means a continual flowing around, and the _spirit_ of opulence is no exception to this universal law of all life.”
“In the proposition _That which is flesh is flesh, and that which is spirit is spirit_, Christ formulates the first law of biological religion, and lays the basis for a final classification.”
“Had the constitutional convention been a sectional and not a national organization; had its members been governed by a sectional and not a national spirit, they would doubtless have taken one or the other of the horns of this dilemma, but in that "_spirit of amity, mutual deference and concession_," which governed their lofty patriotism, they took neither of the extremes.”
“The spirit exists in vegetables, and is extracted by means of the organs of the animals which feed upon them, and then, "by a delicate work of distillation, it is converted into _spirit_!”
“It was his desire that we should be actuated in all our dealings by the spirit of Faith, as far at least as that is possible, so as to arrive at last at that summit of perfect charity which the Apostle calls the more excellent way, and of which he says that _he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit_.”
“The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, “breath.””
“Front and center are philosophical problems brought up by the term "spirit.”
“The word spirit is pneuma in Greek and simply means “breath,” “wind,” or “air.””
“From all this it will be seen that it is impossible to limit the term spirit to its ancient _physical_ currency.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘spirit’.
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Looking for tweets for spirit.