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[spir-i-choo-uh l] /ˈspɪr ɪ tʃu əl/
of, relating to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.
of or relating to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature:
a spiritual approach to life.
closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.:
the professor's spiritual heir in linguistics.
of or relating to spirits or to spiritualists; supernatural or spiritualistic.
characterized by or suggesting predominance of the spirit; ethereal or delicately refined:
She is more of a spiritual type than her rowdy brother.
of or relating to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature.
of or relating to sacred things or matters; religious; devotional; sacred.
of or belonging to the church; ecclesiastical:
lords spiritual and temporal.
of or relating to the mind or intellect.
a spiritual or religious song:
authentic folk spirituals.
spirituals, affairs of the church.
a spiritual thing or matter.
Origin of spiritual
1275-1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin spīrituālis, equivalent to Latin spīritu- (stem of spīritus spirit) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
spiritually, adverb
spiritualness, noun
antispiritual, adjective
antispiritually, adverb
nonspiritual, adjective, noun
nonspiritually, adverb
nonspiritualness, noun
pseudospiritual, adjective
pseudospiritually, adverb
quasi-spiritual, adjective
quasi-spiritually, adverb
superspiritual, adjective
superspiritually, adverb
unspiritual, adjective
unspiritually, adverb
Can be confused
spirited, spiritual, spiritualistic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spiritually
  • Few creatures are as mysterious and captivating as the whale, and few connect with us so emotionally and spiritually.
  • The two partners are spiritually alone, which is a sombre but unnecessary lesson for us.
  • When you're married and you have that kind of connection, you become really spiritually, psychologically connected.
  • Please do more research before subjecting the world to your totally subjective, biased, and spiritually bankrupt views.
  • Hallucinogens are relatively harmless substances, whether used recreationally, spiritually or medicinally.
  • We're not talking about errant politicians here, but about those whose values ought to be spiritually driven.
  • We're too underdeveloped spiritually and ethically to embark on these activities without further corrupting our world.
  • Schizophrenics also tend to be filled with grandiose spiritually, but often on the negative side.
  • The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually.
  • It never occurred to him to be spiritually won over to the enemy.
British Dictionary definitions for spiritually


relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter; intangible
of, relating to, or characteristic of sacred things, the Church, religion, etc
standing in a relationship based on communication between the souls or minds of the persons involved: a spiritual father
having a mind or emotions of a high and delicately refined quality
(often pl) the sphere of religious, spiritual, or ecclesiastical matters, or such matters in themselves
the spiritual, the realm of spirits
Derived Forms
spiritually, adverb
spiritualness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for spiritually



"of or concerning the spirit" (especially in religious aspects), c.1300, from Old French spirituel (12c.), from Latin spiritualis, from spiritus "of breathing, of the spirit" (see spirit (n.)). Meaning "of or concerning the church" is attested from mid-14c. The noun sense of "African-American religious song" first recorded 1866.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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