What does Spirit mean?

Definitions for Spirit
ˈspɪr ɪtspir·it

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Spirit.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. spiritnoun

    the vital principle or animating force within living things

  2. spirit, tone, feel, feeling, flavor, flavour, look, smellnoun

    the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people

    "the feel of the city excited him"; "a clergyman improved the tone of the meeting"; "it had the smell of treason"

  3. spiritnoun

    a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character

  4. spirit, disembodied spiritnoun

    any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings

  5. emotional state, spiritnoun

    the state of a person's emotions (especially with regard to pleasure or dejection)

    "his emotional state depended on her opinion"; "he was in good spirits"; "his spirit rose"

  6. intent, purport, spiritnoun

    the intended meaning of a communication

  7. liveliness, life, spirit, sprightlinessnoun

    animation and energy in action or expression

    "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"

  8. heart, spiritverb

    an inclination or tendency of a certain kind

    "he had a change of heart"

  9. spirit, spirit up, inspiritverb

    infuse with spirit

    "The company spirited him up"


  1. spiritnoun

    The undying essence of a human. The soul.

  2. spiritnoun

    A supernatural being, often but not exclusively without physical form; ghost, fairy, angel.

  3. spiritnoun


    School spirit is at an all-time high.

  4. spiritnoun

    The manner or style of something.

    In the spirit of forgiveness, we didn't press charges.

  5. spiritnoun

    A volatile liquid, such as alcohol. The plural form spirits is a generic term for distilled alcoholic beverages.

  6. spiritnoun


  7. spiritverb

    To carry off, especially in haste, secrecy, or mystery.

  8. Spiritnoun

    (Holy) Spirit: in Christian theology, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the three aspects of God

  9. Spiritnoun

    the Devil.

  10. Spiritnoun

    The name given to a Mars exploration rover launched June 10, 2003. See wikipedia entry

  11. Etymology: from spiritus. Compare inspire, respire, transpire, all ultimately from Latin spiro. Displaced native Middle English gast (from Old English gast).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SPIRITnoun

    Etymology: spiritus, Latin.

    All purges have in them a raw spirit or wind, which is the principal cause of tension in the stomach. Francis Bacon.

    The balmy spirit of the western breeze.

    Spirit is a substance wherein thinking, knowing, doubting, and a power of moving do subsist. John Locke.

    I shall depend upon your constant friendship; like the trust we have in benevolent spirits, who, though we never see or hear them, we think are constantly praying for us. Alexander Pope.

    She is a spirit; yet not like air, or wind;
    Nor like the spirits about the heart, or brain;
    Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find,
    When they in ev’ry thing seek gold in vain;
    For she all natures under heav’n doth pass,
    Being like those spirits which God’s bright face do see,
    Or like himself whose image once she was,
    Though now, alas! she scarce his shadow be;
    For of all forms she holds the first degree,
    That are to gross material bodies knit;
    Yet she herself is bodyless and free;
    And though confin’d is almost infinite. Davies.

    If we seclude space, there will remain in the world but matter and mind, or body and spirit. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    The spirit shall return unto God that gave it. Bible.

    Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul,
    Holding th’ eternal spirit ’gainst her will
    In the vile prison of afflicted breath. William Shakespeare, K. John.

    They were terrified, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. Luke xxiv. 37.

    Perhaps you might see the image, and not the glass; the former appearing like a spirit in the air. Francis Bacon.

    Whilst young, preserve his tender mind from all impressions of spirits and goblins in the dark. John Locke.

    He sits
    Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
    Quite out their native language. John Milton.

    That peculiar law of christianity which forbids revenge, no man can think it grievous who considers the restless torment of a malicious and revengeful spirit. John Tillotson.

    Nor once disturb their heav’nly spirits
    With Scapin’s cheats, or Cæsar’s merits. Matthew Prior.

    ’Tis well blown, lads;
    This morning, like the spirit of a youth
    That means to be of note, begins betimes. William Shakespeare.

    Farewel the big war,
    The spirit stirring drum, th’ ear piercing fife. William Shakespeare.

    More ample spirit than hitherto was wont,
    Here needs me, whiles the famous ancestors
    Of my most dreaded sovereign I recount,
    By which all earthly princes she doth far surmount. Fa. Q.

    To a mighty work thou goest, O king,
    That equal spirits and equal pow’rs shall bring. Daniel.

    A wild Tartar, when he spies
    A man that’s handsome, valiant, wise,
    If he can kill him, thinks t’ inherit
    His wit, his beauty, and his spirit. Samuel Butler.

    The noblest spirit or genius cannot deserve enough of mankind, to pretend to the esteem of heroick virtue. William Temple.

    A perfect judge will read each work of wit,
    With the same spirit that its author writ:
    Survey the whole, nor seek slight fault to find,
    Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind. Alexander Pope.

    You were us’d
    To say extremity was the trier of spirits,
    That common chances common men could be ar. William Shakespeare.

    I ask but half thy mighty spirit for me. Abraham Cowley.

    These discourses made so deep impression upon the mind and spirit of the prince, whose nature was inclined to adventures, that he was transported with the thought of it. Edward Hyde.

    In spirit perhaps he also saw
    Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume. John Milton.

    You are too great to be by me gainsaid:
    Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain. William Shakespeare.

    God has changed mens tempers with the times, and made a spirit of building succeed a spirit of pulling down. South.

    The watry kingdom is no bar
    To stop the foreign spirits, but they come. William Shakespeare.

    Such spirits as he desired to please, such would I chuse for my judges. Dryden.

    Though thou didst but jest:
    With my vex’d spirits I cannot take a truce,
    But they will quake. William Shakespeare, King John.

    When I sit and tell
    The warlike feats I’ve done, his spirits fly out
    Into my story. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Alas! when all our lamps are burn’d,
    Our bodies wasted, and our spirits spent,
    When we have all the learned volumes turn’d,
    Which yield men’s wits both help and ornament;
    What can we know, or what can we discern? Davies.

    To sing thy praise, wou’d heav’n my breath prolong,
    Infusing spirits worthy such a song,
    Not Thracian Orpheus should transcend my lays. Dryden.

    By means of the curious lodgment and inosculation of the auditory nerves, the orgasms of the spirits should be allayed. William Derham.

    In some fair body thus the secret soul
    With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole;
    Each motion guides, and ev’ry nerve sustains,
    Itself unseen, but in the effects remains. Alexander Pope.

    The king’s party, called the cavaliers, began to recover their spirits. Jonathan Swift.

    Italian pieces will appear best in a room where the windows are high, because they are commonly made to a descending light, which of all other doth set off mens faces in their truest spirit. Henry Wotton.

    Nor doth the eye itself,
    That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself. William Shakespeare.

    All bodies have spirits and pneumatical parts within them; but the main difference between animate and inanimate are, that the spirits of things animate are all continued within themselves, and branched in veins as blood is; and the spirits have also certain seats where the principal do reside, and whereunto the rest do resort; but the spirits in things inanimate are shut in and cut off by the tangible parts, as air in snow. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    What the chymists call spirit, they apply the name to so many differing things, that they seem to have no settled notion of the thing. In general, they give the name of spirit to any distilled volatile liquour. Boyle.

    All spirits, by frequent use, destroy, and at last extinguish the natural heat of the stomach. William Temple.

    In distillations, what trickles down the sides of the receiver, if it will not mix with water, is oil; if it will, it is spirit. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.

    The charge thereof unto a courteous spright
    Commanded was. Edmund Spenser.

  2. To Spiritverb

    So talk’d the spirited sly snake. John Milton, Par. Lost.

    He will be faint in any execution of such a counsel, unless spirited by the unanimous decrees of a general diet. William Temple.

    Civil dissensions never fail of introducing and spiriting the ambition of private men. Jonathan Swift, on the Cont. in Athens and Rome.

    Many officers and private men spirit up and assist those obstinate people to continue in their rebellion. Jonathan Swift.

    In the southern coast of America, the southern point of the needle varieth toward the land, as being disposed and spirited that way, by the meridional and proper hemisphere. Brown.

    The ministry had him spirited away, and carried abroad as a dangerous person. Scriblerus Club .


  1. Spirit

    Spirit is the seventh single released by British gothic rock band Bauhaus. It was released in 7" format on the Beggars Banquet label as a regular release with the band's distinctive logo on both sides (front black on white, back white on black) and as a picture disc in a clear vinyl pouch with white text printed on the reverse. It peaked at No. 42 in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Spirit

    A spirit is a non-physical entity or essence that is often associated with the intangible aspects of a person or being. It is believed to possess consciousness, personality, emotions, and characteristics that transcend the physical dimension. Spirits are often regarded as separate from the physical body and are commonly associated with concepts such as the soul, ghost, or supernatural beings. The concept of spirits varies across different cultures, religions, and belief systems.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spiritnoun

    air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself

  2. Spiritnoun

    a rough breathing; an aspirate, as the letter h; also, a mark to denote aspiration; a breathing

  3. Spiritnoun

    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

  4. Spiritnoun

    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

  5. Spiritnoun

    specifically, a disembodied soul; the human soul after it has left the body

  6. Spiritnoun

    any supernatural being, good or bad; an apparition; a specter; a ghost; also, sometimes, a sprite,; a fairy; an elf

  7. Spiritnoun

    energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage, etc

  8. Spiritnoun

    one who is vivacious or lively; one who evinces great activity or peculiar characteristics of mind or temper; as, a ruling spirit; a schismatic spirit

  9. Spiritnoun

    temper or disposition of mind; mental condition or disposition; intellectual or moral state; -- often in the plural; as, to be cheerful, or in good spirits; to be downhearted, or in bad spirits

  10. Spiritnoun

    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; as, the spirit of an enterprise, of a document, or the like

  11. Spiritnoun

    tenuous, volatile, airy, or vapory substance, possessed of active qualities

  12. Spiritnoun

    any liquid produced by distillation; especially, alcohol, the spirits, or spirit, of wine (it having been first distilled from wine): -- often in the plural

  13. Spiritnoun

    rum, whisky, brandy, gin, and other distilled liquors having much alcohol, in distinction from wine and malt liquors

  14. Spiritnoun

    a solution in alcohol of a volatile principle. Cf. Tincture

  15. Spiritnoun

    any one of the four substances, sulphur, sal ammoniac, quicksilver, or arsenic (or, according to some, orpiment)

  16. Spiritnoun

    stannic chloride. See under Stannic

  17. Spiritverb

    to animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to inspirit; as, civil dissensions often spirit the ambition of private men; -- sometimes followed by up

  18. Spiritverb

    to convey rapidly and secretly, or mysteriously, as if by the agency of a spirit; to kidnap; -- often with away, or off


  1. Spirit

    The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. The notions of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are understood as surviving the bodily death in religion and occultism, and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person. The term may also refer to any incorporeal or immaterial being, such as demons or deities, in Christianity specifically the Holy Spirit experienced by the disciples at Pentecost.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Spirit

    spir′it, n. vital force: the soul: a ghost: mental disposition: enthusiasm, animation, courage, mettle: real meaning: essence, chief quality: a very lively person: any volatile, inflammable liquid obtained by distillation, as brandy: (pl.) intellectual activity: liveliness: persons with particular qualities of mind: mental excitement: spirituous liquors.—v.t. to inspirit, encourage, cheer: to convey away secretly, to kidnap.—ns. Spir′it-blue, an aniline blue obtained from coal-tar; Spir′it-duck, the buffle-head, from its rapid diving.—adj. Spir′ited, full of spirit, life, or fire: animated.—adv. Spir′itedly.—n. Spir′itedness.—adj. Spir′itful.—n. Spir′iting, the office of a spirit or sprite; Spir′itism=Spiritualism; Spir′itist=Spiritualist; Spir′it-lamp, a lamp in which alcohol is burned, generally used for heating.—adj. Spir′itless, without spirit, cheerfulness, or courage: dejected: dead.—adv. Spir′itlessly.—ns. Spir′itlessness, the state of being spiritless: want of animation or energy; Spir′it-lev′el, in surveying, a cylindrical glass tube, slightly convex on one side, and so nearly filled with alcohol that only a small bubble of air remains inside—from the position of the bubble the amount of variation from perfect levelness is determined.—adj. Spir′itous, of the nature of spirit, pure: ardent, spirituous.—ns. Spir′itousness; Spir′it-rap′per, one to whom spirits convey intelligence by raps or knocks; Spir′it-rap′ping.—adjs. Spir′it-stir′ring, rousing the spirit; Spir′itūal, consisting of spirit: having the nature of a spirit: immaterial: relating to the mind: intellectual: pertaining to the soul: holy: divine: relating to sacred things: not lay or temporal.—n. Spiritualisā′tion.—v.t. Spir′itūalise, to make spiritual: to imbue with spirituality: to refine: to free from sensuality: to give a spiritual meaning to.—ns. Spir′itualiser; Spir′itualism, a being spiritual: the philosophical doctrine that nothing is real but soul or spirit: the doctrine that spirit has a real existence apart from matter: the name applied to a varied series of abnormal phenomena purporting to be for the most part caused by spiritual beings acting upon specially sensitive persons or mediums; Spir′itūalist, one who has a regard only to spiritual things: one who holds the doctrine of spiritualism or spiritism.—adj. Spiritūalist′ic, relating to, or connected with, spiritualism.—n. Spiritūal′ity, state of being spiritual: essence distinct from matter.—adv. Spir′itūally.—ns. Spir′itūal-mind′edness, the state of having holy affections; Spir′itūalness, the state or quality of being spiritual.—adj. Spi′ritūelle, showing great grace and delicacy.—n. Spiritūos′ity, spirituous character: immateriality.—advs. Spirit-uō′so, Spiritō′so (mus.), with spirit or animation.—adj. Spir′itūous, possessing the qualities of spirit: containing much alcohol: volatile.—ns. Spir′itūousness, the quality of being spirituous: stimulating quality: ardour: activity; Spir′itus, a breathing, an aspirate: any spirituous preparation; Spir′itworld, the world of disembodied spirits.—adj. Spir′ity (Scot.), full of spirit, spirited.—Spirit of wine, alcohol; Spiritual court, an ecclesiastical court; Spiritus asper, a rough breathing; Spiritus lenis, a soft or smooth breathing.—Animal spirits, constitutional liveliness of spirits; Holy Spirit (see under Holy); The Spirit, the Holy Spirit: the human spirit under the influence of the Holy Spirit. [L. spiritus, a breath—spirāre, to breathe.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Spirit

    in philosophy and theology is the Divine mind incarnating itself in the life of a man, and breathing in all he thinks and does, and so is as the life-principle of it; employed also to denote any active dominating and pervading principle of life inspired from any quarter whatever and coming to light in the conduct.

Editors Contribution

  1. spirit

    The accurate and specific qualities and energy within living organisms, animals, human beings, universal beings, our body, brain, heart, soul, mind, memory, subconscious, conscience and consciousness.

    Their spirit is lively, fun and playful as they choose it to be.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 21, 2019  

  2. spirit

    The intended meaning of a communication or message.

    The spirit of the message was one of peace, fun, laughter, joy, abundance, love and unity.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 21, 2019  

  3. spirit

    Energy in expression or action

    The spirit of the day is described so beautifully - unity, love, sharing and supporting.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 21, 2019  

  4. spiritnoun

    The first part, man's spirit, of what makes up the three parts, of man (soul and body), flesh, of what give's man life. It is used to communicate with the Holy Spirit to give man a new life by God. The spirit of man, once renewed then communicate with the lost soul of man and then the soul Communicates with the Body to renew the whole man, to regenerate him spirituely, for eternal life! This is what make man a living soul, given by the breath of God, man's spirit, must communicate with the spirit of God. That that is spirit is spirit, that that is flesh is fiesh. Man has a spirit, soul, and body, to make him a living indivisual.

    Submitted by Doggettechester on October 25, 2023  

  5. spiritnoun

    The Brides Husband definite name. 1.) A definite without issue of having a wavelength or electromagnetic radiation in the visible light spectrum assimilated before being easily identified.

    The spirit circulates the soul for growth in time.

    Etymology: Soul significant partner

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on January 28, 2024  

Suggested Resources

  1. spirit

    Song lyrics by spirit -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by spirit on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spirit' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1631

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spirit' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1554

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spirit' in Nouns Frequency: #572

How to pronounce Spirit?

How to say Spirit in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Spirit in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Spirit in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Spirit in a Sentence

  1. Vince Lombardi:

    The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure.

  2. AiR Atman in Ravi:

    We think, “We are This”, but in reality, “We are That”... Not the Body that we look like but the Spirit, in fact!

  3. Timothy Zahn:

    Without trust, there can be no genuine peace. Neither in politics, nor in the quiet individuality of the heart and spirit.”

  4. H.W. Mann:

    Spiritual awareness. You don’t know what you don’t know. Until you do. And then you will never be the same again. We realize we are not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience. We are a spiritual being temporarily in the human condition. We are a human being. The human part is the mind-body. The being part is our spiritual essence. We are a spiritual being – being human. The being human is the temporary part. The mind-body will eventually expire, but the spirit is immortal.


    Some may call us- old fire sticks,- but we burn hotter than the hottest flames. They may call us-old brooms- but we know all the corners. We may be called cold, but we are the cryoscopic reggae sword of the spirit of truth. I am ras cardo who created reggae.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Spirit

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"Spirit." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Spirit>.

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    a protective covering (as for a knife or sword)
    A hunch
    B sheath
    C helm
    D peccadillo

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