Hypertext Webster Gateway: "spirit"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

(Heb. ruah; Gr. pneuma), properly wind or breath. In 2 Thess.
2:8 it means "breath," and in Eccl. 8:8 the vital principle in
man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is
distinguished (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 5:5; 6:20; 7:34), and the soul
in its separate state (Heb. 12:23), and hence also an apparition
(Job 4:15; Luke 24:37, 39), an angel (Heb. 1:14), and a demon
(Luke 4:36; 10:20). This word is used also metaphorically as
denoting a tendency (Zech. 12:10; Luke 13:11).

In Rom. 1:4, 1 Tim. 3:16, 2 Cor. 3:17, 1 Pet. 3:18, it
designates the divine nature.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Spirit \Spir"it\, n. [OF. espirit, esperit, F. esprit, L.
spiritus, from spirare to breathe, to blow. Cf. {Conspire},
{Expire}, {Esprit}, {Sprite}.]
1. Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes,
life itself. [Obs.] ``All of spirit would deprive.''

The mild air, with season moderate, Gently
attempered, and disposed eo well, That still it
breathed foorth sweet spirit. --Spenser.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also. --James ii.

Spirit is a substance wherein thinking, knowing,
doubting, and a power of moving, do subsist.

5. 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.

Ye gentle spirits far away, With whom we shared the
cup of grace. --Keble.

6. Any supernatural being, good or bad; an apparition; a
specter; a ghost; also, sometimes, a sprite,; a fairy; an

Whilst young, preserve his tender mind from all
impressions of spirits and goblins in the dark.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Tenuous, volatile, airy, or vapory substance, possessed
of active qualities.

All bodies have spirits . . . within them. --Bacon.

12. Any liquid produced by distillation; especially, alcohol,
the spirits, or spirit, of wine (it having been first
distilled from wine): -- often in the plural.

13. pl. Rum, whisky, brandy, gin, and other distilled liquors
having much alcohol, in distinction from wine and malt

14. (Med.) A solution in alcohol of a volatile principle. Cf.
{Tincture}. --U. S. Disp.

15. (Alchemy) Any one of the four substances, sulphur, sal
ammoniac, quicksilver, or arsenic (or, according to some,

The four spirits and the bodies seven. --Chaucer.

16. (Dyeing) Stannic chloride. See under {Stannic}.

Note: Spirit is sometimes joined with other words, forming
compounds, generally of obvious signification; as,
spirit-moving, spirit-searching, spirit-stirring, etc.

{Astral spirits}, {Familiar spirits}, etc. See under
{Astral}, {Familiar}, etc.

{Animal spirits}.
(a) (Physiol.) The fluid which at one time was supposed
to circulate through the nerves and was regarded as
the agent of sensation and motion; -- called also the
{nervous fluid}, or {nervous principle}.
(b) Physical health and energy; frolicsomeness;

{Ardent spirits}, strong alcoholic liquors, as brandy, rum,
whisky, etc., obtained by distillation.

{Holy Spirit}, or {The Spirit} (Theol.), the Spirit of God,
or the third person of the Trinity; the Holy Ghost. The
spirit also signifies the human spirit as influenced or
animated by the Divine Spirit.

{Proof spirit}. (Chem.) See under {Proof}.

{Rectified spirit} (Chem.), spirit rendered purer or more
concentrated by redistillation, so as to increase the
percentage of absolute alcohol.

{Spirit butterfly} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of
delicate butterflies of tropical America belonging to the
genus {Ithomia}. The wings are gauzy and nearly destitute
of scales.

{Spirit duck}. (Zo["o]l.)
(a) The buffle-headed duck.
(b) The golden-eye.

{Spirit lamp} (Art), a lamp in which alcohol or methylated
spirit is burned.

{Spirit level}. See under {Level}.

{Spirit of hartshorn}. (Old Chem.) See under {Hartshorn}.

{Spirit of Mindererus} (Med.), an aqueous solution of acetate
of ammonium; -- named after R. Minderer, physician of

{Spirit of nitrous ether} (Med. Chem.), a pale yellow liquid,
of a sweetish taste and a pleasant ethereal odor. It is
obtained by the distillation of alcohol with nitric and
sulphuric acids, and consists essentially of ethyl nitrite
with a little acetic aldehyde. It is used as a
diaphoretic, diuretic, antispasmodic, etc. Called also
{sweet spirit of niter}.

{Spirit of salt} (Chem.), hydrochloric acid; -- so called
because obtained from salt and sulphuric acid. [Obs.]

{Spirit of sense}, the utmost refinement of sensation. [Obs.]

{Spirits}, or {Spirit}, {of turpentine} (Chem.), rectified
oil of turpentine, a transparent, colorless, volatile, and
very inflammable liquid, distilled from the turpentine of
the various species of pine; camphine. See {Camphine}.

{Spirit of vitriol} (Chem.), sulphuric acid; -- so called
because formerly obtained by the distillation of green
vitriol. [Obs.]

{Spirit of vitriolic ether} (Chem.) ether; -- often but
incorrectly called {sulphuric ether}. See {Ether}. [Obs.]

{Spirits}, or {Spirit}, {of wine} (Chem.), alcohol; -- so
called because formerly obtained by the distillation of

{Spirit rapper}, one who practices spirit rapping; a
``medium'' so called.

{Spirit rapping}, an alleged form of communication with the
spirits of the dead by raps. See {Spiritualism}, 3.

{Sweet spirit of niter}. See {Spirit of nitrous ether},

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Spirit \Spir"it\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spirited}; p. pr. & vb.
n. {Spiriting}.]
1. To animate with vigor; to excite; to encourage; to
inspirit; as, civil dissensions often spirit the ambition
of private men; -- sometimes followed by up.

Many officers and private men spirit up and assist
those obstinate people to continue in their
rebellion. --Swift.

2. To convey rapidly and secretly, or mysteriously, as if by
the agency of a spirit; to kidnap; -- often with away, or

The ministry had him spirited away, and carried
abroad as a dangerous person. --Arbuthnot &

I felt as if I had been spirited into some castle of
antiquity. --Willis.

{Spiriting away} (Law), causing to leave; the offense of
inducing a witness to leave a jurisdiction so as to evade
process requiring attendance at trial.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: the vital principle or animating force within living things
2: the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the
effect that it has on people; "the feel of the city
excited him"; "a clergyman improved the tone of the
meeting"; "it had the smell of treason" [syn: {tone}, {feel},
{feeling}, {flavor}, {flavour}, {look}, {smell}]
3: a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining
one's character
4: any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible
(or audible) to human beings
5: the state of a person's emotions (especially with regard to
pleasure or dejection); "his emotional state depended on
her opinion"; "he was in good spirits"; "his spirit rose"
[syn: {emotional state}]
6: the intended meaning of a communication [syn: {intent}, {purport}]
7: animation and energy in action or expression; "it was a
heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to
it" [syn: {liveliness}, {life}, {sprightliness}]
8: an inclination or tendency of a certain kind; "he had a
change of heart" [syn: {heart}]
v : infuse with spirit; "The company spirited him up" [syn: {spirit
up}, {inspirit}]

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