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



    BrE BrE//ˈspɪrɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɪrɪt//
    Energetic, Brave, Alcoholic drinks
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the part of a person that includes their mind, feelings and character rather than their body the power of the human spirit to overcome difficulties
  2. 2  spirits [plural] a person’s feelings or state of mind to be in high/low spirits You must try and keep your spirits up (= stay cheerful). My spirits sank at the prospect of starting all over again.
  3. 3[countable] (always with an adjective) a person of the type mentioned a brave spirit kindred spirits (= people who like the same things as you) see also free spirit
  4. courage/determination
  5. 4  [uncountable] courage, determination or energy Show a little fighting spirit. Although the team lost, they played with tremendous spirit. They took away his freedom and broke his spirit. See related entries: Energetic, Brave
  6. loyal feelings
  7. 5  [uncountable, singular] loyal feelings towards a group, team or society There's not much community spirit around here. see also team spirit
  8. attitude
  9. 6[singular] a state of mind or mood; an attitude We approached the situation in the wrong spirit. ‘OK, I'll try’. ‘That's the spirit (= the right attitude).’ The party went well because everyone entered into the spirit of things. see also party spirit
  10. typical quality
  11. 7[singular] the typical or most important quality or mood of something The exhibition captures the spirit of the age/times.
  12. real meaning
  13. 8[uncountable] the real or intended meaning or purpose of something Obey the spirit, not the letter (= the narrow meaning of the words) of the law.
  14. soul
  15. 9  [countable] the soul thought of as separate from the body and believed to live on after death; a ghost He is dead, but his spirit lives on. It was believed that people could be possessed by evil spirits. see also Holy Spirit
  16. imaginary creature
  17. 10[countable] (old-fashioned) an imaginary creature with magic powers, for example, a fairy or an elf
  18. alcohol
  19. 11   [countable, usually plural] (especially British English) a strong alcoholic drink I don't drink whisky or brandy or any other spirits. See related entries: Alcoholic drinks
  20. 12[uncountable] a special type of alcohol used in industry or medicine see also methylated spirit, surgical spirit, white spirit
  21. Word OriginMiddle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin spiritus ‘breath, spirit’, from spirare ‘breathe’.Extra examples Both sides have come together in a spirit of goodwill. He found kindred spirits in the peace movement. He sang with great spirit. He’s got the right spirit! I was just getting to the spirit of things when the party suddenly ended. I will be with you in spirit. I’m trying to get in the spirit of the holiday season. It is a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit. Make a donation to the charity if the spirit moves you. Many people believe the spirit lives on after death. My mother was in excellent spirits. My spirit guide cares for me and protects me. Owls were believed to be restless spirits who had returned to earth. She embodies the spirit of revolution. She exudes a warmth and generosity of spirit. She has plenty of fighting spirit. She isn’t in the best of spirits today. She slept with a cross under the pillow to ward off evil spirits. She was a guiding spirit in primary education. That song really captures the spirit of the times. The movie is true to the spirit of the book. The referee should try to obey the spirit as well as the letter of the law. They are all working together in a spirit of cooperation. They brought the spirit of carnival to their concerts. They have the right spirit! They tortured him until he was broken in spirit. We sang songs to keep our spirits up. a single measure of spirits a spirit of adventure an edict that violates the spirit of the Geneva Convention healing for body, mind and spirit the indomitable American spirit A standard measure of spirits is 25ml. He felt a kind of lightness in his spirit as the sun came up. His poetry summed up the spirit of the age. I don’t drink whisky or brandy or any other spirits. It seemed to fit in with the spirit of the festival. It was believed that people could be possessed by evil spirits. Show a little fighting spirit. The exhibition captures the spirit of the Swinging Sixties. You are underestimating the power of the human spirit to overcome difficulties.Idioms
    as/when/if the spirit moves you
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    as/when/if you feel like it I'll go for a run this evening, if the spirit moves me.
    a feeling that you are ready to fight very hard for something or to try something difficult in your thoughts I shall be with you in spirit (= thinking about you though not with you physically).
    raise somebody’s spirits
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    to make somebody feel more cheerful or brave synonym cheer up The sunny weather raised my spirits a little.
    the spirit is willing (but the flesh is weak)
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    (humorous, saying) you intend to do good things but you are too lazy, weak or busy to actually do them
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spirit