Definition of soul in English:



  • 1The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

    • ‘Humans bear the spiritual imprint of God due to the fact that they possess an immortal soul.’
    • ‘He taught them that the soul is immortal and that after death it migrates into other animated bodies.’
    • ‘The new life of God - resurrection life - is implanted in the soul by the Holy Spirit.’
    • ‘Mass for the repose of her soul was celebrated by Father Gilroy after which burial took place in Annagh Cemetery.’
    • ‘It ignores all the empirical evidence for animal awareness while resting on an assumption for which there is no evidence: that human beings but no other animals possess immortal souls.’
    • ‘Even though our bodies die, we are made in the image of God, and thus we have souls that are immortal.’
    • ‘There are many theories which surround reincarnation - the notion that the soul of a dead person can re-establish itself within the body of another living being.’
    • ‘It is common for visitors to a wake to say a short silent prayer for the soul of the dead person.’
    • ‘As it progresses through spiritual enlightenment, the soul realizes that God and it are one and the same.’
    • ‘His message is almost uniformly positive and personal: it is about the individual soul's journey towards God, not any society's laws or customs.’
    • ‘The idea of possessing eternal life as an immortal soul attempts to rob death of its totality, and therefore of its sanctity.’
    • ‘Theological liberalism ends with the destruction of immortal souls.’
    • ‘Something more primal than the fall - the image of God - is impressed on the soul of each human person.’
    • ‘A special Mass for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II was celebrated at Carlow Cathedral on Monday night at 7.30 pm.’
    • ‘God's plan is revealed by faith and shows us that humans have an immortal soul, a soul that embodies the potential for good and evil.’
    • ‘The Greeks did believe that the soul could be immortal, but they would have been opposed to the notion of the immortality of the body.’
    • ‘The spiritual life of the soul with God is wounded, often mortally.’
    • ‘Yet even Puritanism was, in the end, concerned with the individual soul, and individual salvation.’
    • ‘I know the idea of animals having reincarnated human souls is hardly a new one… but this was an interesting idea to explore.’
    • ‘According to folk religious beliefs, babies up to one year old don't have souls and can be considered like small animals.’
    psyche, inner self, inner being, essential being
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    1. 1.1 A person's moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.
      ‘in the depths of her soul, she knew he would betray her’
      • ‘It's happy music, but it comes from our souls, from our emotional scars.’
      • ‘He recalled what Harry had said to him so long ago, that the only way to cure the soul was through the senses.’
      • ‘These images, this news, does something to us, eats away at our souls and sense of hope for the world.’
      • ‘Being in nature with understanding friends soothes the soul, calms emotional swings and might well provide respite from night sweats.’
      • ‘Somewhere in the deepest part of her soul, Mary could sense that this wasn't going to end well.’
      • ‘It felt like medicine to soothe the soul and awaken the senses.’
      • ‘If you aren't fortunate enough to know, then it's hard to describe the way that nature can calm the soul, especially when you can afford the time for total immersion.’
      • ‘The essential oil of these lovely, purple, highly fragrant flowers can soothe your soul without sapping your energy.’
      • ‘Mothering is a journey we experience with our whole selves: our senses, our souls, our emotions, our minds.’
      • ‘Here at last one might find rest from our too frenetic world, and stopping, learn something for one's soul.’
      • ‘I searched back through my consciousness, deep down into my soul where I sensed the pain hiding in my heart.’
      • ‘He describes each work as an extension of his soul and his culture.’
      • ‘A genuine artist, his fiery, passionate nature carried over to his work and transformed it into a feast for the senses that captured the soul.’
      • ‘This courage and spiritual help allowed her to do what she wanted to do all her life, undergo an operation so she could finally be what she in truth by the nature of her soul and her brain was: a woman.’
      • ‘San Miguel de Allende has become our home away from home, a retreat where we nourish our creative souls and recover our senses.’
      • ‘Some say that a reading an author's works is a window to their soul and identity.’
      • ‘The holidays provide a different sort of nourishment - one that feeds the soul and indulges the senses.’
      • ‘And for me, she was the greatest gift because she understood my soul and my spirit as an artist, even though I was a divinity student.’
      • ‘His writing became a bellweather for the health of my soul and my sense of place in America.’
      spirit, psyche, self, inner self, innermost self, ego, inner ego, inner being, true being, essential nature, animating principle, life force, vital force, inner man, inner woman
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  • 2Emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.

    ‘their interpretation lacked soul’
    • ‘What sets Bensusan apart is the passion, soul, intensity, and rhythmic complexity that mark even his quietest and most elegant pieces.’
    • ‘What they do is take pop music, remove every ounce of soul, passion or energy and drone it into a mess of an attempt to make a band that 15 year old girls will drool over.’
    • ‘Lacking in intensity and soul, the album comes off as a bland mix of all things electronic - in this café only decaf is on the menu.’
    • ‘Their powerful physicality pulsated with life and soul, an effect these artists achieved through their use of color.’
    • ‘He put a lot of soul into his performance, from soft notes to high.’
    • ‘Of course, the longer that lack of heart and soul and courage and energy remained, the more it became a way of being, a destructive habit.’
    • ‘And that spirit, that energy, that soul must mark all of the content.’
    • ‘His shows are redolent of soul, intense emotion, and a deep connection to the music.’
    • ‘With or without a perspex screen, Mr Shelley extracts the maximum dynamics from his instrument as he always pours all his energy and soul into his performances.’
    • ‘She sang them with heart and soul and with an intensity and passion that left many in the capacity audience emotionally drained.’
    • ‘The choice of material is excellent and the performance is saturated with soul.’
    • ‘It's a good display of Barrino's emotion and soul and how it emerges on each song.’
    • ‘Tony puts his heart and soul into every performance and he and the band delivered a fine ‘set’ for the appreciative supporters in Castlebar.’
    • ‘Gallic wit and subtlety are perfectly married to Russian soul in this performance.’
    • ‘Much has changed in the 54 years since my dad died, but among the things that have not changed are the spirit and the energy and soul of good newspapers.’
    • ‘I'd really love to see more expression, emotion and soul in games and their music - speaking as a gamer and musician.’
    inspiration, feeling, emotion, passion, animation, intensity, fervour, ardour, enthusiasm, eagerness, warmth, energy, vitality, vivacity, spirit, spiritedness, commitment
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    1. 2.1 African-American culture or ethnic pride.
    2. 2.2
      short for soul music
      • ‘Broken beat, for lack of a better term, encompasses underground dance music fused with soul, funk or jazz.’
      • ‘The band played impressive versions of numbers from just about every musical sphere including soul, reggae, trad and rock.’
      • ‘Their music was tried-and-true funky soul and bar-band balladry, and not a lick of it was ever going to see the top 40 if Brown could help it.’
      • ‘He was equally at home with jazz, blues, soul and country music.’
      • ‘Cox is a master of breakbeat, mixing in soul, jazz, hip hop, dance hall and a whole lot more to produce a world class album.’
      • ‘His influences are abundant: blues, jazz, soul, lounge, girl groups, classic rock, funk and more.’
      • ‘Promising more of his signature mix of rock, soul and folk music, the album is also said to venture into new territory, while journeying back to explore some of his roots.’
      • ‘I've grown up listening to soul and as far as I'm concerned, R&B today is a progression of soul with a hip hop edge, bigger beats and I love it’
      • ‘It's bubbling with quirky grunge, liberally sprinkled with novelty hip-hop, soul and ska.’
      • ‘If you've heard this man play, then you know he is a one-of-a-kind selector with the deepest love for jazz, funk, soul, reggae and Afro-Latin vibes.’
      • ‘Between them they bring together rock, hip hop, metal, soul and reggae to form their own unique sound.’
      • ‘At school I loved reggae and soul, one of my mates was a punk and lent me this record.’
      • ‘The station began in the early 90s with hip hop, soul and ragga music.’
      • ‘To continue the relaxed vibe, there's also a great mix of jazz, soul and reggae.’
      • ‘Soca, ragga, R&B, hip hop, soul, funk, even techno and house music blares through hundreds of sound systems.’
      • ‘Listen to our music and you will hear elements of bluegrass and rock-a-billy through to soul, blues and rock.’
      • ‘Kaveh will also be playing reggae, Afro-beat, soul, hip hop, kwaito and raï.’
      • ‘Funk, soul, jazz and reggae are all amply represented but these genres fail to reach all four corners of this unique masterpiece.’
      • ‘Tossing in elements of blues, rock, glam-rock, soul and metal, it's a wildly extravagant affair that is likely to put off as many people as it delights.’
      • ‘If you've ever wondered why no one ever dares to combine southern soul, dub reggae, folk and country well, wonder no more, dear reader.’
  • 3The essence or embodiment of a specified quality.

    ‘he was the soul of discretion’
    ‘brevity is the soul of wit’
    • ‘Kittie and Ariadne, you are the souls of good sense.’
    • ‘In public, at least, Kirk, who lives close to the Wight memorial in Thirsk, is the soul of diplomacy, maintaining that the amateur route will eventually reap dividends.’
    • ‘He is the soul of Christian courtesy and charity.’
    • ‘There are two women in Britain who make her look the soul of discretion, refinement and good taste.’
    embodiment, personification, incarnation, epitome, quintessence, essence
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    1. 3.1 An individual person.
      ‘I'll never tell a soul’
      • ‘But among the candidates are 27 individual brave souls who are not affiliated to any party.’
      • ‘I had to be forcibly stopped from standing on a table and openly apologising to the other poor souls who had been similarly treated - not to mention ripped-off - in my own country.’
      • ‘But he's a tortured soul, old Jacques Brel, and I'd rather not be that tortured.’
      • ‘But there is no doubt that Alice Springs is an exotic location, at least to those poor souls crammed on a Melbourne commuter train in winter drizzle.’
      • ‘Born when spring was in full bloom, you're an earthy soul with a refined sense of beauty.’
      • ‘As I lazily drove back along the Esplanade, I reflected on all the poor souls huddled around office coffee machines in the city making small talk.’
      • ‘I have no doubt that I join all your readers with pity for the poor soul who can no longer get in and out of the bath and has to wash in the sink,.’
      • ‘Pity the poor soul who has all these problems at once!’
      • ‘If my heart isn't in it, I feel I would be short-changing everyone involved, particularly the poor souls listening.’
      • ‘By Jove, some of them need a little brightening up, poor souls.’
      • ‘But we poor deluded souls keep colouring our hair in the wildest and most atrocious colours possible.’
      • ‘Just don't bother them during the workday; they're busy indoors, poor souls.’
      • ‘Inevitably it was the poor souls huddling in the ground's last uncovered terracing who bore the brunt of the rain and hail sweeping into their faces; it is an ordeal they should not have to face next year.’
      • ‘It turns out that these poor souls, as well as the millions who hold similar beliefs, really can't help themselves.’
      • ‘One can only pity the poor soul who subjects herself to the media frenzy.’
      • ‘I tried to not let it show but I'm a terrible actress, but today really tried my patience and I may have snapped at poor unsuspecting souls.’
      • ‘Visit on a Market day and it will inevitably be double parked, with some poor souls trapped there for the day whether or not they want to be.’
      • ‘These associations are exclusive ‘clubs’ where these poor deluded souls can imagine that they are figures of importance and influence in the local community.’
      • ‘It leads to a bunch of poor, confused souls sitting around trying to figure out what they're supposed to do, rather than what they want to do.’
      • ‘And I'd be hard pressed to remember many of these poor souls, either by name or face.’
      person, human being, individual, man, woman, man, woman, or child, human, being, living soul, mortal, creature, body
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    2. 3.2 A person regarded with affection or pity.
      ‘she's a nice old soul’
      • ‘Your friend is a gentle soul and very suited to work among our people.’
      • ‘The brothers had always been identical in appearance, but usually Pockets was a cheery soul and easy to identify by his smile.’
      • ‘A man of simple pleasures and infectious good humour, Joe was truly one of nature's gentle souls.’
      • ‘We haven't been in the company of nice souls like you for a long time now.’
      • ‘He was a gentle soul who was held in fond regard by those who knew him best.’
      • ‘He might have been too gentle a soul for the furnace of the Old Firm, but if he were a spikier character he had plenty of evidence from which to formulate an assertive case for his own defence.’
      • ‘Mary was a gentle soul who was held in fond regard by all who knew her.’
      • ‘Josie was a gentle soul who was highly regarded by his neighbours.’
      • ‘John was one of the old folk of the Trien area, a kindly soul who was held in fond regard by all his neighbours and friends.’
      • ‘As a youth, I was a friendly soul, palling around with all and sundry.’
      • ‘McGann specialises in playing sensitive souls, whose gentleness and vulnerability attract women with effortless ease.’


  • lost soul

    • 1A soul that is damned.

      • ‘This unusual narrative recounts the revelations of a lost soul to a former acquaintance; it is a powerful record of the steps which led a young woman to lose her soul in Hell for all eternity.’
      • ‘We're left with a fairly grim depiction of a lost soul sinking deeper into a swamp of his own making - not a very edifying cinema experience.’
      • ‘On the contrary, to judge by the entries in his Journal at this time, he tended to regard himself very much as a sinner and a lost soul.’
      • ‘Divine love will not transform the lost soul or readers who are this type.’
      • ‘God of the lost, God of the found, grant us the love to rejoice with each lost soul that is found, remembering that others welcomed us when we were gathered in.’
      • ‘Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on.’
      • ‘I am a lost soul who has found everything they need.’
      • ‘If anyone misses repentance he will miss salvation, he is not in possession of eternal life, he does not have forgiveness of sin, he is a lost soul and without God and without hope in this world and the world to come.’
      • ‘My job as a born again Christian is to have a burden for lost souls and by listening to all that you have said... yours is lost.’
      • ‘As one minister phrased it, ‘The greatest thing in the world is to lead a lost soul to Christ.’’
      1. 1.1humorous A person who seems unable to cope with everyday life.
        • ‘The nice thing is that everyone left at 12, so I have the entire building to myself - and have locked my office door in case some lost soul wanders by looking for help I can't give.’
        • ‘Struggling to suppress his trademark intelligence, he plays a doughy, shambling, lost soul.’
        • ‘Kevin, would you happen to have room for another lost soul at your house for a little while?’
        • ‘Just a half hour ago he was looking like a lost soul, and now he's prancing around, giddy as a schoolgirl.’
        • ‘She meets Robert, a dentist, whose life appears conventional, but is in fact a fellow lost soul.’
        • ‘While not locked in his office, he wanders the corridors like a lost soul.’
        • ‘My brother James, as I am sure I have mentioned before, is a bit of a lost soul.’
        • ‘He is an emotionless, lost soul wandering the streets and helping out strangers while looking for a clean razor and dry cleaner for his dirty overcoat!’
        • ‘One such lost soul turned up at my office door earlier today.’
        • ‘Buzzell was a lost soul, waiting for a thunderbolt to blast him out of his dead-end existence.’
  • bare one's soul

    • Reveal one's innermost secrets and feelings to someone.

      • ‘Suddenly the safety of the anonymity is vanished and the person is left feeling somewhat vulnerable and exposed, as if they bared their soul to the world.’
      • ‘Isaac Hayes bares his soul about everything from ‘Shaft’ to Scientology.’
      • ‘What sort of person bares her soul to pollsters for upward of an hour - and during the holiday season yet?’
      • ‘Springsteen, on the other hand, with often a simpler music, bares his soul, and tears out your heart.’
      • ‘He bares his soul before the judge, who holds the fate of his daughter in his hands.’
      • ‘One difficult issue in making an autobiographical work is the fear of baring one's soul only to be told that one is self-indulgent or narcissistic, labels that are often placed on autobiographical works.’
      • ‘I had extended myself, baring my soul to another who had once done the same for me.’
      • ‘The anti-war agitator and an ex-Labour Party MP, George Galloway, bares his soul in an interview with the ‘Guardian’.’
      • ‘Apart from baring my soul to the millions of people online - well the half dozen or so who read my thingy at least - I've not really done much.’
      • ‘And for not baring his soul to the media, he surely deserves a merit badge, not a mauling.’
      • ‘Delving into echoes of his personal history, Campbell resists this alienation and bares his soul to readers and to the land.’
      • ‘Callers find themselves baring their soul almost without knowing it.’
      • ‘Night after night there was someone baring their soul on national TV creating their own live and unplugged soap opera.’
      • ‘After all, if someone has bared their soul to you, albeit of their own accord, shouldn't you give a little bit of yourself in return?’
      • ‘Nevin the wordsmith goes into overdrive as he pours out his heart and bares his soul in songs such as The One I Love, Absent Friend and Turn Around.’
      • ‘On that day I bare my soul, make myself vulnerable to friends and family by expressing my feelings.’
      • ‘Funny, sharp, intelligent, a little bit guarded for someone who apparently bares her soul in her weekly columns for a Sunday newspaper, she's as friendly and down-to-earth as her books.’
      • ‘Perhaps you think baring your soul so poetically will make you irresistible, but to me it sounds condescending and self-deceptive.’
      • ‘The reason I am baring my soul about all this is to caution all the parents of primary schoolchildren out there: be careful what you say.’
      • ‘In Flavour of the Week, writer/performer Alix Sobler keeps her clothes on but bares her soul, playing a young woman who examines her love life while waiting for the results of her STD tests.’
  • the life and soul of the party

  • sell one's soul (to the devil)

    • Do or be willing to do anything, no matter how wrong it is, in order to achieve one's objective.

      ‘universities are selling their souls for commercial success’
      • ‘It's more like selling my soul to Satan, except I don't have anything to gain.’
      • ‘But when you sell your soul, no matter for what price, you die inside.’
      • ‘It doesn't take much intelligence to understand that once you have sold your soul to the devil, you can't buy it back.’
      • ‘I don't think that I sold my soul to the devil for that £350, but if I knew that I could claim a lot more for something, I won't lie and say I wouldn't be tempted.’
      • ‘Then, with a new job in a new part of the country, I finally sold my soul to eternal debt, took the plunge into home ownership and, for the first time, tasted independence.’
  • upon my soul

    • dated An exclamation of surprise.

      • ‘'Arkadian...Arkadian...' the Englishman mutters. 'Why, upon my soul, I believe I do!'’
      • ‘And upon my soul, Sir Wilton, how harsh you are upon my sex!’


Old English sāwol, sāw(e)l, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ziel and German Seele.