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



BrE BrE//ˈspɪrɪtʃuəl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɪrɪtʃuəl//
Pieces of music
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(also Negro spiritual) a religious song of the type originally sung by black slaves in America Culture Spirituals began in the 18th century when American slaves combined African rhythms with Protestant European hymns (= religious songs). Famous spirituals include Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Steal Away and Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen. Well-known singers of spirituals have included Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson. see also gospel music See related entries: Pieces of music Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French spirituel, from Latin spiritualis, from spiritus ‘breath, spirit’, from spirare ‘breathe’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spiritual