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From Middle English spirit, from Old French espirit (“spirit”), from Latin spīritus (“breath; spirit”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peys- (“to blow, breathe”). Compare inspire, respire, transpire, all ultimately from Latin spīrō (“I breathe, blow, respire”). Displaced native Middle English gast (“spirit”) (from Old English gāst (“breath, soul, spirit”)), whence modern English ghost.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈspɪɹɪt/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈspiɹɪt/, /ˈspɪɹɪt/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪɹɪt
- Hyphenation: spir‧it
- The soul of a person or other creature.
- 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- […] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
- 1967, MacCormack, Woman Times Seven
- […] a triumph of the spirit over the flesh.
- A supernatural being, often but not exclusively without physical form; ghost, fairy, angel.
- A wandering spirit haunts the island.
- John Locke
- Whilst young, preserve his tender mind from all impressions of spirits and goblins in the dark.
- 2011 October 1, Phil Dawkes, “Sunderland 2-2 West Brom”, in BBC Sport:
- The result may not quite give the Wearsiders a sweet ending to what has been a sour week, following allegations of sexual assault and drug possession against defender Titus Bramble, but it does at least demonstrate that their spirit remains strong in the face of adversity.
- School spirit is at an all-time high.
- The manner or style of something.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
- No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or […] . And at last I began to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion was futile, and to take such holidays as I could get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of thankfulness.
- In the spirit of forgiveness, we didn't press charges.
- Alexander Pope
- A perfect judge will read each work of wit / With the same spirit that its author writ.
- (usually in the plural) A volatile liquid, such as alcohol. The plural form spirits is a generic term for distilled alcoholic beverages.
- Energy; ardour.
- "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.
- One who is vivacious or lively; one who evinces great activity or peculiar characteristics of mind or temper.
- a ruling spirit; a schismatic spirit
- Such spirits as he desired to please, such would I choose for my judges.
- 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
- God has […] made a spirit of building succeed a spirit of pulling down.
- (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.
- (obsolete) A rough breathing; an aspirate, such as the letter h; also, a mark denoting aspiration.
- Ben Jonson
- Be it a letter or spirit, we have great use for it.
- Ben Jonson
- Intent; real meaning; opposed to the letter, or formal statement.
- the spirit of an enterprise, or of a document
- (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
- (dyeing) stannic chloride
- community spirit
- despirit, dispirit (verbs)
- free spirit
- Holy Spirit
- in good spirits
- in spirit (adverb)
- in the spirit it was meant (idiom)
- kindred spirit
- methylated spirit
- moving spirit
- party spirit
- petroleum spirit
- poor in spirit
- proof spirit
- pyroacetic spirit
- rectified spirit
- spirit gum
- Spirit Lake
- spirit lamp
- spirit level
- spirit of hartshorn
- spirit of salt
- spirit of the law
- spirit of turpentine
- spirit of vitriol
- spirit of wine
- spirit rapper, spirit rapping
- spirit stove
- spirit world
- spirit writing
- surgical spirit
- team spirit
- that's the spirit
- the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
- white spirit
- wood spirit
- zombie spirit
- To carry off, especially in haste, secrecy, or mystery.
- 2009 February 8, Dave Kehr, “Buñuel at His Wildest, in Circulation Again”, in New York Times:
- God does not make an appearance, but the Devil (Ms. Pinal) emphatically does: first in the guise of a schoolgirl who tries to lure Simon down with the sight of her shapely legs; then as a bearded but blatantly female Jesus carrying a lamb; and finally as a stylishly coiffed woman who succeeds in spiriting Simon off, by means of a jet, to a Manhattan discotheque — Buñuel’s persuasive idea of hell.
- I felt as if I had been spirited into some castle of antiquity.
- To animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to inspirit; sometimes followed by up.
- Civil dissensions often spirit the ambition of private men.
- Jonathan Swift
- Many officers and private men spirit up and assist those obstinate people to continue in their rebellion.
spirit n (plural spirite)
- (spirit, ghost): duh