Definitions for: Spirit


[n] a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character
[n] an inclination or tendency of a certain kind; "he had a change of heart"
[n] animation and energy in action or expression; "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"
[n] the intended meaning of a communication
[n] any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
[n] the vital principle or animating force within living things
[n] 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"
[n] 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"
[v] infuse with spirit; "The company spirited him up"



Webster (1913) Definition: Spir"it, n. [OF. espirit, esperit, F. esprit, L.
spiritus, from spirare to breathe, to blow. Cf. Conspire,
Expire, Esprit, Sprite.]
1. Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes,
life itself. [Obs.] ``All of spirit would deprive.''
--Spenser.

The mild air, with season moderate, Gently
attempered, and disposed eo well, That still it
breathed foorth sweet spirit. --Spenser.

2. A rough breathing; an aspirate, as the letter h; also, a
mark to denote aspiration; a breathing. [Obs.]

Be it a letter or spirit, we have great use for it.
--B. Jonson.

3. 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. 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.

There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the
Almighty giveth them understanding. --Job xxxii.
8.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also. --James ii.
26.

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

5. Specifically, a disembodied soul; the human soul after it
has left the body.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was,
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
--Eccl. xii.
7.

Ye gentle spirits far away, With whom we shared the
cup of grace. --Keble.

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

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

7. Energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage, etc.

``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. --Fuller.

8. 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.

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

9. 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.

God has . . . made a spirit of building succeed a
spirit of pulling down. --South.

A perfect judge will read each work of wit With the
same spirit that its author writ. --Pope.

10. 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. Tenuous, volatile, airy, or vapory substance, possessed
of active qualities.

All bodies have spirits . . . within them. --Bacon.

12. 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. pl. Rum, whisky, brandy, gin, and other distilled liquors
having much alcohol, in distinction from wine and malt
liquors.

14. (Med.) A solution in alcohol of a volatile principle. Cf.
Tincture. --U. S. Disp.

15. (Alchemy) Any one of the four substances, sulphur, sal
ammoniac, quicksilver, or arsenic (or, according to some,
orpiment).

The four spirits and the bodies seven. --Chaucer.

16. (Dyeing) Stannic chloride. See under Stannic.

Note: Spirit is sometimes joined with other words, forming
compounds, generally of obvious signification; as,
spirit-moving, spirit-searching, spirit-stirring, etc.

Astral spirits, Familiar spirits, etc. See under
Astral, Familiar, etc.

Animal spirits.
(a) (Physiol.) The fluid which at one time was supposed
to circulate through the nerves and was regarded as
the agent of sensation and motion; -- called also the
nervous fluid, or nervous principle.
(b) Physical health and energy; frolicsomeness;
sportiveness.

Ardent spirits, strong alcoholic liquors, as brandy, rum,
whisky, etc., obtained by distillation.

Holy Spirit, or The Spirit (Theol.), the Spirit of God,
or the third person of the Trinity; the Holy Ghost. The
spirit also signifies the human spirit as influenced or
animated by the Divine Spirit.

Proof spirit. (Chem.) See under Proof.

Rectified spirit (Chem.), spirit rendered purer or more
concentrated by redistillation, so as to increase the
percentage of absolute alcohol.

Spirit butterfly (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of
delicate butterflies of tropical America belonging to the
genus Ithomia. The wings are gauzy and nearly destitute
of scales.

Spirit duck. (Zo["o]l.)
(a) The buffle-headed duck.
(b) The golden-eye.

Spirit lamp (Art), a lamp in which alcohol or methylated
spirit is burned.

Spirit level. See under Level.

Spirit of hartshorn. (Old Chem.) See under Hartshorn.

Spirit of Mindererus (Med.), an aqueous solution of acetate
of ammonium; -- named after R. Minderer, physician of
Augsburg.

Spirit of nitrous ether (Med. Chem.), a pale yellow liquid,
of a sweetish taste and a pleasant ethereal odor. It is
obtained by the distillation of alcohol with nitric and
sulphuric acids, and consists essentially of ethyl nitrite
with a little acetic aldehyde. It is used as a
diaphoretic, diuretic, antispasmodic, etc. Called also
sweet spirit of niter.

Spirit of salt (Chem.), hydrochloric acid; -- so called
because obtained from salt and sulphuric acid. [Obs.]

Spirit of sense, the utmost refinement of sensation. [Obs.]
--Shak.

Spirits, or Spirit, of turpentine (Chem.), rectified
oil of turpentine, a transparent, colorless, volatile, and
very inflammable liquid, distilled from the turpentine of
the various species of pine; camphine. See Camphine.

Spirit of vitriol (Chem.), sulphuric acid; -- so called
because formerly obtained by the distillation of green
vitriol. [Obs.]

Spirit of vitriolic ether (Chem.) ether; -- often but
incorrectly called sulphuric ether. See Ether. [Obs.]


Spirits, or Spirit, of wine (Chem.), alcohol; -- so
called because formerly obtained by the distillation of
wine.

Spirit rapper, one who practices spirit rapping; a
``medium'' so called.

Spirit rapping, an alleged form of communication with the
spirits of the dead by raps. See Spiritualism, 3.

Sweet spirit of niter. See Spirit of nitrous ether,
above.



Syn: Life; ardor; energy; fire; courage; animatioon;
cheerfulness; vivacity; enterprise.


Spir"it, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spirited; p. pr. & vb.
n. Spiriting.]
1. To animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to
inspirit; as, civil dissensions often spirit the ambition
of private men; -- sometimes followed by up.

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

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

The ministry had him spirited away, and carried
abroad as a dangerous person. --Arbuthnot &
Pope.

I felt as if I had been spirited into some castle of
antiquity. --Willis.

Spiriting away (Law), causing to leave; the offense of
inducing a witness to leave a jurisdiction so as to evade
process requiring attendance at trial.

Synonyms: disembodied spirit, emotional state, feel, feeling, flavor, flavour, heart, inspirit, intent, life, liveliness, look, purport, smell, spirit up, sprightliness, tone

See Also: airiness, alacrity, ambiance, ambience, animate, animation, apparition, atmosphere, banshee, bravery, breeziness, brio, briskness, buoyancy, character, control, courage, courageousness, cowardice, cowardliness, delicacy, disposition, djinni, djinny, ebullience, ecstasy, elan, embarrassment, emotion, energy, enliven, enthusiasm, esprit, evil spirit, exaltation, exuberance, familiar, familiar spirit, felicity, fiber, fibre, genie, ginger, gratification, happiness, high-spiritedness, import, invigorate, invigoration, irrepressibility, jauntiness, jinnee, jinni, life principle, liven, liven up, meaning, numen, pep, peppiness, peri, phantom, presence, psyche, python, rapture, raptus, satisfaction, significance, signification, silvan, soul, specter, spectre, spiritedness, spiritual being, state, supernatural being, sylvan, temperament, thunderbird, transport, unhappiness, vigor, vigour, vim, vital principle, vivification, Zeitgeist, zombi, zombi spirit, zombie, zombie spirit

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