Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spirit”

See all translations

spirit

noun uk   /ˈspɪr.ɪt/ us  

spirit noun (WAY OF FEELING)

B2 [S or U] a particular way of thinking, feeling, or behaving, especially a way that is typical of a particular group of people, an activity, a time, or a place: The players have a very strong team spirit (= loyalty to each other). As rock musicians in the 1960s, they were very much part of the spirit of the age/times. We acted in a spirit of cooperation.spirits B2 [plural] the way a person is feeling: I've been in high/low spirits (= feeling happy/sad) lately. Her spirits lifted/rose (= she felt happier) as she read the letter. The negative reply dashed his spirits (= made him unhappy).the spirit of a law, rule, etc. the principle that a law, rule, etc. was created to make stronger, rather than the particular things it says you must or must not do: They followed neither the spirit nor the letter of the law.enter/get into the spirit to show enthusiasm and enjoyment: They went to the tennis club a few times but never really got into the spirit of it.that's the spirit used to approve or encourage someone's positive attitude (= way of thinking) or action: "Come on, we can win this game." "That's the spirit."
More examples

spirit noun (NOT BODY)

C1 [U] the characteristics of a person that are considered as being separate from the body, and that many religions believe continue to exist after the body dies: Although he's now living in America, I feel he's with me in spirit (= I feel he is present and is influencing me, in a way that is not physical).B2 [C] the form of a dead person, similar to a ghost, or the feeling that a dead person is present although you cannot see them: an evil spirit The spirits of long-dead warriors seemed to haunt the area.
More examples

spirit noun (ENTHUSIASM)

[U] approving enthusiasm, energy, or courage: The orchestra performed The Rite of Spring with great spirit. The torture failed to break the prisoner's spirit.

spirit noun (ALCOHOL)

C1 [C or U] a strong alcoholic drink: Vodka is a type of spirit. Spirits are more expensive than beer, but they get you drunk faster. [U] Some types of spirit are alcoholic liquids used especially for cleaning, mixing with paint, etc.: Thin the paint with white spirit.

spirit

verb uk   /ˈspɪr.ɪt/ us  
spirit sb/sth away, off, out, etc. to move someone or something out of or away from a place secretly: Somehow the prisoners managed to spirit news out to the world outside.
(Definition of spirit from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spirit?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “spirit” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

punt

a long, narrow boat with a flat bottom and a square area at each end, moved by a person standing on one of the square areas and pushing a long pole against the bottom of the river

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More