from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. The vitality of good health.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The theorized ‘spirits’ or physiological principles which allowed for sensation and voluntary movement.
- n. Liveliness, vivacity, a happy tendency to action.
- n. After Keynes (citation 1936, above), the emotional and intuitive factors that drive business decisions whether to make investment gambles.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. See under Spirit.
- n. Physical health and energy; frolicsomeness; sportiveness.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
And at this day travelers ascending to the top of the Peak of Tenerife make the ascent by night and not by day, and soon after the rising of the sun are warned and urged by their guides to come down without delay, on account of the danger they run lest the animal spirits should swoon and be suffocated by the tenuity of the air.
His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision (when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic concision -- that leaden, self-balanced and perfectly modulate gutteral utterance, which may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium, during periods of his most intense excitement.
You know the event, brother Toby — ’tis too melancholy a one to be repeated now — when the few animal spirits I was worth in the world, and with which memory, fancy, and quick parts should have been convey’d — were all dispersed, confused, confounded, scattered, and sent to the devil. —
And so Hugh was changed too; not in loveliness of character and demeanour, nor even much in the always gentle and tender expression of countenance; but the animal spirits and frame, that should have had all the strong cherishing and bracing, that affection and wisdom together could have applied, had been left to wear themselves out under trials his father had shrunk from, and other trials his father had made.