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élan vital

[French ey-lahn vee-tal] /French eɪ lɑ̃ viˈtal/
(especially in Bergsonian philosophy) the creative force within an organism that is responsible for growth, change, and necessary or desirable adaptations.
Origin of élan vital
1905-10; < French: literally, vital ardor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for elan-vital
Historical Examples
  • What is this elan-vital, that a little fall in temperature would banish altogether from the universe?

    Winds Of Doctrine George Santayana
British Dictionary definitions for elan-vital

élan vital

/elɑ̃ vital/
a creative principle held by Henri Bergson to be present in all organisms and responsible for evolution Compare Bergsonism
Word Origin
literally: vital impetus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for elan-vital
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
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