Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The belief that the dead communicate with the living, as through a medium.
  • noun The practices or doctrines of those holding such a belief.
  • noun A philosophy, doctrine, or religion emphasizing the spiritual aspect of being.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being spiritual; spiritual character.
  • noun In philosophy, the doctrine of the existence of spirit as distinct from matter, or as the only reality: opposed to materialism.
  • noun The belief that disembodied spirits can and do communicate with the living, especially through the agency of a person particularly susceptible to spiritualistic influences, called a medium; also, the various doctrines and theories, collectively, founded upon this belief.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being spiritual.
  • noun (Physiol.) The doctrine, in opposition to the materialists, that all which exists is spirit, or soul -- that what is called the external world is either a succession of notions impressed on the mind by the Deity, as maintained by Berkeley, or else the mere educt of the mind itself, as taught by Fichte.
  • noun A belief that departed spirits hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomena, as by rappng, or during abnormal mental states, as in trances, or the like, commonly manifested through a person of special susceptibility, called a medium; spiritism; the doctrines and practices of spiritualists.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A philosophic doctrine, opposing materialism, that claims transcendency of the divine being, the altogether spiritual character of reality and the value of inwardness of consciousness.
  • noun A belief that the dead communicate with the living through a medium having special powers.
  • noun The quality or state of being spiritual.

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

  • noun concern with things of the spirit
  • noun the belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with people who are still alive (especially via a medium)
  • noun (theology) any doctrine that asserts the separate existence of God

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

spiritual +‎ -ism

Examples

  • The term spiritualism has come to signify more than has usually been ascribed to it, for some recent authors are now using the term to denote

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885

  • Still, as I said, the only way for a homosexual to believe in spiritualism which accepts homosexuality, Buddhism is the only faith.

    Religion And Sexual Ethics « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • The Sherlock Homes stories certainly seem to endorse logic and science, and yet he was involved in spiritualism and in the Cottingley Fairies affair.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • There's clearly some serious value that smart, ethical people derive from participation in spiritualism and even organized religion.

    Boing Boing

  • The Sherlock Homes stories certainly seem to endorse logic and science, and yet he was involved in spiritualism and in the Cottingley Fairies affair.

    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

  • And you're describing the United States which is much more hyper-charged in spiritualism and ideology than most people think.

    America in Foreign Eyes

  • And you're describing the United States which is much more hyper-charged in spiritualism and ideology than most people think.

    America in Foreign Eyes

  • And you're describing the United States which is much more hyper-charged in spiritualism and ideology than most people think.

    America in Foreign Eyes

  • This slushiness, like his sporadic interest in spiritualism and the occult, is of exactly the sort that he was best at lampooning — most especially in the Princess Diana — like person of Madeleine Bassett, a ghastly girl who thinks that the stars are God's daisy-chain.

    The Honorable Schoolboy

  • This slushiness, like his sporadic interest in spiritualism and the occult, is of exactly the sort that he was best at lampooning — most especially in the Princess Diana — like person of Madeleine Bassett, a ghastly girl who thinks that the stars are God's daisy-chain.

    The Honorable Schoolboy

Comments

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  • 1831 CARLYLE Sart. Res. II. viii, Savage Animalism is nothing, inventive Spiritualism is all.

    May 22, 2008