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spiritual Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a kind of religious song originated by Blacks in the southern United States
    Negro spiritual.
  2. adjective satellite concerned with sacred matters or religion or the church
    • religious texts
    • a member of a religious order
    • lords temporal and spiritual
    • spiritual leaders
    • spiritual songs
  3. adjective satellite concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul
    • a spiritual approach to life
    • spiritual fulfillment
    • spiritual values
    • unearthly love
  4. adjective satellite lacking material body or form or substance
    • spiritual beings
    • the vital transcendental soul belonging to the spiritual realm"-Lewis Mumford
  5. adjective satellite resembling or characteristic of a phantom
    spectral; ghostlike; phantasmal; ghostly; apparitional.
    • a ghostly face at the window
    • a phantasmal presence in the room
    • spectral emanations
    • spiritual tappings at a seance

Spir"it*u*al adjective
L. spiritualis: cf. F. spirituel. See Spirit.
  1. Consisting of spirit; not material; incorporeal; as, a spiritual substance or being.
    It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 1 Cor. xv. 44.
  2. Of or pertaining to the intellectual and higher endowments of the mind; mental; intellectual.
  3. Of or pertaining to the moral feelings or states of the soul, as distinguished from the external actions; reaching and affecting the spirits.
    God's law is spiritual; it is a transcript of the divine nature, and extends its authority to the acts of the soul of man. Sir T. Browne.
  4. Of or pertaining to the soul or its affections as influenced by the Spirit; controlled and inspired by the divine Spirit; proceeding from the Holy Spirit; pure; holy; divine; heavenly-minded; -- opposed to carnal.
    That I may impart unto you some spiritual gift. Rom. i. ll.
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings. Eph. i. 3.
    If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one. Gal. vi. 1.
  5. Not lay or temporal; relating to sacred things; ecclesiastical; as, the spiritual functions of the clergy; lords spiritual and temporal; a spiritual corporation.
Spir"it*u*al noun
  1. A spiritual function, office, or affair. See Spirituality, 2.
    He assigns supremacy to the pope in spirituals, and to the emperor in temporals. Lowell.

Webster 1913