Definition of soul noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; soʊl

spirit of person

1 [countable] the spiritual part of a person, believed to exist after deathHe believed his immortal soul was in peril.The howling wind sounded like the wailing of lost souls (= the spirits of dead people who are not in heaven).

inner character

2 [countable] a person's inner character, containing their true thoughts and feelingsThere was a feeling of restlessness deep in her soul.

spiritual/moral/artistic qualities

3 [singular] the spiritual and moral qualities of humans in general
the dark side of the human soul
4 [uncountable, countable] strong and good human feeling, especially that gives a work of art its quality or enables somebody to recognize and enjoy that qualityIt was a very polished performance, but it lacked soul.5 [singular] the soul of something a perfect example of a good qualityHe is the soul of discretion.


6 [countable] (becoming old-fashioned) a person of a particular typeShe's lost all her money, poor soul.You're a brave soul.7 [countable] (especially in negative sentences) a personThere wasn't a soul in sight (= nobody was in sight).Don't tell a soul (= do not tell anyone). (literary) a village of 300 souls (= with 300 people living there)


8 (also soul music) [uncountable] a type of music that expresses strong emotions, made popular by African American musiciansa soul singer

good for the soul

(humorous) good for you, even if it seems unpleasant‘Want a ride?’ ‘No thanks. Walking is good for the soul.’
more at bare your soul (to somebody) at bare v., body and soul at body, keep body and soul together at body, God rest his/her soul at god, heart and soul at heart, the life and soul of the party etc. at life, sell your soul (to the devil) at sell v.
Usage noteUsage note: ReligionBeing religiousbelieve in God/Christ/Allah/free will/predestination/heaven and hell/an afterlife/reincarnationbe/become a believer/an atheist/an agnostic/a Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist, etc.convert to/practise/(especially US) practice a religion/Buddhism/Catholicism/Christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc.go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue)go to the local church/mosque/synagogue/gurdwarabelong to a church/a religious communityjoin/enter the church/a convent/a monastery/a religious sect/the clergy/the priesthoodpraise/worship/obey/serve/glorify GodCelebrations and ritualattend/hold/conduct/lead a serviceperform a ceremony/a rite/a ritual/a baptism/the Hajj/a mitzvahcarry out/perform a sacred/burial/funeral/fertility/purification ritego on/make a pilgrimagecelebrate Christmas/Easter/Eid/Ramadan/Hanukkah/Passover/Diwaliobserve/break the Sabbath/a fast/Ramadandeliver/preach/hear a sermonlead/address the congregationsay/recite a prayer/blessingReligious texts and ideaspreach/proclaim/spread the word of God/the Gospel/the message of Islamstudy/follow the dharma/the teachings of Buddharead/study/understand/interpret scripture/the Bible/the Koran/the gospel/the Torahbe based on/derive from divine revelationcommit/consider something heresy/sacrilegeReligious belief and experienceseek/find/gain enlightenment/wisdomstrengthen/lose your faithkeep/practise/practice/abandon the faithsave/purify/lose your soulobey/follow/keep/break/violate a commandment/Islamic law/Jewish lawbe/accept/do God's willreceive/experience divine graceachieve/attain enlightenment/salvation/nirvanaundergo a conversion/rebirth/reincarnationhear/answer a prayercommit/confess/forgive a sindo/perform penance