see also: Spirit
  • (British) IPA: /ˈspɪɹɪt/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈspiɹɪt/, /ˈspɪɹɪt/


  1. The soul of a person or other creature.
  2. A supernatural being, often but not exclusively without physical form; ghost, fairy, angel.
    A wandering spirit haunts the island.
    • 1693, John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education
      Whilst young, preserve his tender mind from all impressions and notions of spirits and goblins […] in the dark.
  3. Enthusiasm.
    School spirit is at an all-time high.
  4. The manner or style of something.
    In the spirit of forgiveness, we didn't press charges.
    • 1709, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Criticism, London: Printed for W. Lewis […], published 1711, OCLC 15810849 ↗:
      A perfect judge will read each work of wit / With the same spirit that its author writ.
  5. (usually, in the plural) A volatile liquid, such as alcohol. The plural form spirits is a generic term for distilled alcoholic beverages.
  6. Energy; ardour.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain
      "Write it then, quickly," replied Bede; and summoning all his spirits together, like the last blaze of a candle going out, he indited it, and expired.
  7. One who is vivacious or lively; one who evinces great activity or peculiar characteristics of mind or temper.
    a ruling spirit; a schismatic spirit
    • 1697, John Dryden, Aeneid
      Such spirits as he desired to please, such would I choose for my judges.
  8. Temper or disposition of mind; mental condition or disposition; intellectual or moral state; often in the plural.
    to be cheerful, or in good spirits; to be down-hearted, or in bad spirits
    • 1667, Robert South, Sermon VII
      God has […] made a spirit of building succeed a spirit of pulling down.
  9. (obsolete) Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself.
    • For, else he sure had left not one alive, / But all, in his Revenge, of Spirit would deprive.
    • The mild air, with season moderate, / Gently attempered, and disposed so well, / That still it breathed forth sweet spirit.
  10. (obsolete) A rough breathing; an aspirate, such as the letter h; also, a mark denoting aspiration.
    • 1640, Ben Jonson, The English Grammar
      Be it a letter or spirit, we have great use of it.
  11. Intent; real meaning; opposed to the letter, or formal statement.
    the spirit of an enterprise, or of a document
  12. (alchemy, obsolete) Any of the four substances: sulphur, sal ammoniac, quicksilver, and arsenic (or, according to some, orpiment).
    • the four spirits and the bodies seven
  13. (dyeing) stannic chloride
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

spirit (spirits, present participle spiriting; past and past participle spirited)

  1. To carry off, especially in haste, secrecy, or mystery.
    • I felt as if I had been spirited into some castle of antiquity.
  2. To animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to inspirit; sometimes followed by up.
    Civil dissensions often spirit the ambition of private men.
    • 1713-14, Jonathan Swift, The Publick Spirit of the Whigs
      Many officers and private men, who now spirit up and assist those obstinate people to continue in their rebellion.

Proper noun
  1. (Christianity) Synonym of Holy Spirit#English|Holy Spirit.

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