Skip to main content

Soul vs Spirit

Soulspirit can both denote an immaterial entity that is held to be distinguishable from and felt as superior to the body with which it is associated during the life of the individual and that in most religious beliefs is regarded as immortal, surviving the death of the body.

Soul (see also MIND 2 ) may be preferred when the emphasis is upon the thing considered as an entity having specific functions, responsibilities, aspects, or destiny, while spirit (see also COURAGE APPARITION ) may be preferred when the stress is upon the quality, the constitution, the movement, or the activity of that entity.

Soul, both in the sense here emphasized and in the extended meanings derived from that sense, usually suggests relation to or a connection with a body or with a physical or material entity to which it gives life or power; spirit in both its restricted and extended senses suggests an opposition or even an antithesis to what is physical, corporeal, or material and often a repugnance to the latter.

Spirit only, and not soul, is used of incorporeal beings (as angels or devils).