- Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself.(Obs)"All of spiritwould deprive." [Spenser.]"The mild air, with season moderate, Gently attempered, and disposed eo well, That still it breathed foorth sweet spirit." [Spenser.]
- 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.]
- 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.
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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.
- Tenuous, volatile, airy, or vapory substance, possessed of active qualities."All bodies have spirits . . . within them." [Bacon.]
- Any liquid produced by distillation; especially, alcohol, the spirits, or spirit, of wine (it having been first distilled from wine): -- often in the plural.
- pl.Rum, whisky, brandy, gin, and other distilled liquors having much alcohol, in distinction from wine and malt liquors.
- [Med] A solution in alcohol of a volatile principle. Cf. Tincture.
- [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.]
- [Dyeing] Stannic chloride. See under Stannic.synonyms: Life; ardor; energy; fire; courage; animatioon; cheerfulness; vivacity; enterprise.
Note: ☞ Spirit is sometimes joined with other words, forming compounds, generally of obvious signification; as, spirit-moving, spirit-searching, spirit-stirring, etc.
Etymology: OF. espirit esperit, F. esprit, L. spiritus, from spirare to breathe, to blow. Cf. Conspire Expire Esprit Sprite