spirit


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Related to spirit: sprint, Spirit animal

(the) Dunkirk spirit

An attitude of strength, determination, and camaraderie, especially by the British people as a whole, during a difficult and adverse time or situation. Refers to the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk, France, carried out by several civilian boats during World War II. Primarily heard in UK. Our country faces the worst economic crises in decades, but I remain confident that, with a bit of the Dunkirk spirit, we can come out of this stronger than ever.
See also: spirit

a kindred spirit

A person who shares several or many fundamental beliefs, ideas, convictions, sentiments, attitudes, and/or interests with oneself. It didn't take long to figure out that John is a kindred spirit, and we've been the closest of friends ever since we met.
See also: kindred, spirit

lose (one's) spirit

To lose one's vigor, energy, hope, or resolve; to become resigned or complacent. The underdog team had a shot at winning the game early on, but they seem to have lost their spirit at this point. You've come so far with your law degree. Don't lose spirit now!
See also: lose, spirit

the spirit of the law

The intended meaning of a law by those who wrote it, as opposed to a literal interpretation thereof. It's quite apparent that the CEOs of these companies, while technically acting legally, have violated the spirit of the law in order to further their own profits at the expense of their clients and employees.
See also: law, of, spirit

free spirit

Someone who does not conform to social norms or expectations. Maria is too much of a free spirit to be working in a stuffy corporate environment.
See also: free, spirit

guiding spirit

Someone who is influential or an inspiration to others. Amy's mother was always her guiding spirit during difficult decisions.
See also: guide, spirit

as the spirit moves (one)

When one feels compelled to do something. Laura's grades are so bad because she only comes to class as the spirit moves her. I usually stay home on weekends, but I'll go out as the spirit moves me.
See also: move, spirit

enter into the spirit (of something)

To show one's interest in enjoying a social event by dressing appropriately or participating in related activities. I specifically wore red and green to enter into the spirt of Christmas. Come on, dance with us! Enter into the spirit!
See also: enter, spirit

the moving spirit

A person who is the catalyst or founder of an organization, movement, etc. Strangely, the moving spirit behind the protest was not in attendance, despite all the work she did to organize it.
See also: moving, spirit

when the spirit moves (one)

When one feels compelled to do something. Laura's grades are so bad because she only comes to class when the spirit moves her. I usually stay home on weekends, but I'll go out when the spirit moves me.
See also: move, spirit

get into the spirit (of something)

To show one's interest in enjoying a social event by dressing appropriately or participating in related activities. I specifically wore red and green to get into the spirt of Christmas. Come on, dance with us! Get into the spirit!
See also: get, spirit

in good spirits

Fig. happy and cheerful; positive and looking toward the future, despite unhappy circumstances. The patient is in good spirits and that will speed her recovery. Tom wasn't in very good spirits after he heard the bad news.
See also: good, spirit

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Prov. People cannot always do what they know they ought to do.; People are not always physically capable of doing what they are willing to do. (Biblical.) Alan: Have you started the diet your doctor recommended? Fred: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
See also: but, flesh, spirit, weak

spirit someone or something away (somewhere)

to sneak someone or something away to another place. The police spirited the prisoner away before the crowd assembled in front of the jail. They spirited away the celebrity.
See also: away, spirit

spirit someone or something off (to some place)

to hurry someone or something away, presumably unnoticed, to another place. Aunt Jane spirited the children off to bed at half-past eight. She spirited off the leftover roast beef.
See also: off, spirit

That's the spirit!

That is the right attitude and preferred evidence of high motivation. A: I am sure I can do it! B: That's the spirit!

in good spirits

Also, in high spirits. Happy, cheerful, as in Jane was in good spirits today. [Early 1700s] However, high spirits also can indicate liveliness and vivacity, as in The children were in high spirits at the prospect of a trip to the circus.
See also: good, spirit

kindred spirit

Also, kindred soul. An individual with the same beliefs, attitudes or feelings as oneself. For example, Dean and I are kindred spirits when it comes to spending money-we're both tight. [Mid-1800s]
See also: kindred, spirit

spirit away

Carry off mysteriously or secretly, as in The police found that the documents had been spirited away from the office. This term derives from the noun spirit, in the sense of "a supernatural being such as a ghost." [Second half of 1600s]
See also: away, spirit

spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, the

One would like to undertake something but hasn't the energy or strength to do so. For example, Another set of tennis? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Today often used as a rueful admission of weariness or other physical weakness, this idiom was first recorded in the New Testament (Matthew 26:41), where Jesus tells his disciples: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." A modern equivalent is I would if I could but I can't.
See also: but, flesh, spirit, willing

spirit away

v.
To carry someone or something off mysteriously or secretly: The lawyers spirited away the documents. In the folktale, an old giant spirited the children away.
See also: away, spirit
References in classic literature ?
The Spirit touched him on the arm, and pointed to his younger self, intent upon his reading.
The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices, who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so, said,
My task is done, and, thanks to the Spirits of earth and air, I have made as fair a home as Elfin hands can form.
Send forth your Spirits to carry sorrow and desolation over the happy earth, and win for yourself the fear and hatred of those who would so gladly love and reverence you.
There was a certain irksomeness of spirit, which, being real, and the deepest sensation of which the artist was now conscious, was more intolerable than any fantastic miseries and horrors that the abuse of wine could summon up.
It might be fancied that the bright butterfly, which had come so spirit-like into the window as Owen sat with the rude revellers, was indeed a spirit commissioned to recall him to the pure, ideal life that had so etheralized him among men.
He was a goodly spirit - he who fell : A wanderer by moss-y-mantled well - A gazer on the lights that shine above - A dreamer in the moonbeam by his love : What wonder ?
Fail'd, as my pennon'd spirit leapt aloft, Perhaps my brain grew dizzy - but the world I left so late was into chaos hurl'd - Sprang from her station, on the winds apart, And roll'd, a flame, the fiery Heaven athwart.
She mixed up Swedenborg's teachings on angels and departed spirits, on love to one's neighbor and purity of life, with wild fancies, and kindred beliefs of her own; and preached the visionary religious doctrines thus derived, not only in the bailiff's household, but also on proselytizing expeditions to the households of her humble neighbors, far and near.
She responded with an uncertain pension of L50 (equivalent to perhaps $1500 at the present time), but not with the gift of political preferment which was still Spenser's hope; and in some bitterness of spirit he retired to Ireland, where in satirical poems he proceeded to attack the vanity of the world and the fickleness of men.
asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.
As to the fact of the line of conduct I choose to adopt towards the individual present, you ought to be proud of my showing a proper spirit.
Spirited horses, when not enough exercised, are often called skittish, when it is only play; and some grooms will punish them, but our John did not; he knew it was only high spirits.
Whatever the truth of it might be, and far as Elinor was from feeling thorough contentment about it, yet while she saw Marianne in spirits, she could not be very uncomfortable herself.