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

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More