Categories Research

All the Various Things the Word Spirit May Mean

spirit [spir-it]

Origins: 1200-50; Middle English (noun) < Latin spiritus orig., a breathing, equivalent to spiri, combining form representing spirare to breathe + -tus suffix of action

  1. the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating
    the body or mediating between body and soul.
  2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in
  3. the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
  4. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
  5. a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.
  6. a fairy, sprite, or elf.
  7. an angel or demon.
  8. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
  9. (initial capital letter) the divine influence as an agency working in the human heart.
  10. a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence.
  11. (initial capital letter) the third person of the Trinity; Holy Spirit.
  12. the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.
  13. spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
  14. excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit!
  15. temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
  16. an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.
  17. the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
  18. vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
  19. the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter): the spirit of the law.
  20. Chemistry: the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, especially by distillation.
  21. a strong distilled alcoholic liquor.
  22. Chiefly British: alcohol.
  23. Pharmacology: a solution in alcohol of an essential or volatile principle; essence.
  24. any of certain subtle fluids formerly supposed to permeate the body.
  25. the Spirit, God.