Definition of vital force in US English:

vital force


  • 1The energy or spirit which animates living creatures; the soul.

    • ‘Astragalus membranaceus. has been used in China for centuries to tone the ‘Qi,’ known in Western medicine as the immune system, the vital force.’
    • ‘The Hebrew words ruah, meaning breath or wind or spirit, and nefesh, the vital force in every individual, human and animal, that which brings flesh alive.’
    • ‘When this is properly done, vital force need not be used up unnecessarily in fighting diseases.’
    • ‘It was believed that a mirror could hold onto the soul and vital force of the person reflected, so if the mirror was covered, the deceased's soul would not be fettered to the deathbed.’
    • ‘Wastage of the vital force weakens the mind and brings about all sorts of problems, like deterioration of health, suicides, domestic conflicts, giving vent to anger, hatred, jealousy, etc.’
    • ‘The symbolic transfer of vital force is also identified in cyclical family-naming traditions and mortuary practices, especially mummification and double burial (disinterred bones were transferred to an ossuary).’
    • ‘The essence of aikido is the cultivation of ki [a vital force, internal power, mental/spiritual energy].’
    • ‘Like most of his contemporaries, Hahnemann believed that health was a matter of balance and harmony, but for him it was the vital force, the spirit in the body, that did the balancing and harmonizing, that is, the healing.’
    • ‘Chief among these teachings is that the body is not an independent material organism and that good health depends on a harmonious relationship between the physical body, spirit or vital force, the soul, and the ego.’
    • ‘Entelechy is a particular type of motivation, need for self-determination, and an inner strength and vital force directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being.’
    • ‘There is evidence to suggest that a primary intention of the seven-month tingkeban may once have been to invite the semangat or the vital force into the foetus in the same way as it is invited into rice.’
    • ‘Eclecticism and homeopathy both relied on precise methods of regulating what is called the vital force.’
    • ‘Indeed, most cultures have believed in the existence of a vital force: the Chinese call it chi; the Hindus know it as prana; the ancient Greeks used to call it pneuma or psyche, while the Romans talked about three kinds of spirits.’
    • ‘The vital force infused or induced was as clear and certain as the strength given by food to those who are faint from hunger.’
    • ‘This allows the possibility that prana, qi, bioenergy or vital force could exist as a spark of undifferentiated vitality in all beings that can be mastered through specific contemplative practices.’
    • ‘In this schema, the nyawa secures life, the semangat is the vital force, the ruh is the spirit, and the arwah is also glossed as spirit, but these categories appear to overlap and are differently conceptualised among his informants.’
    • ‘Maybe the idea was to get his vital force as fresh as possible.’
    spirit, psyche, self, inner self, innermost self, ego, inner ego, inner being, true being, essential nature, animating principle, life force, inner man, inner woman
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    1. 1.1Philosophy (in some theories, particularly that of Bergson) a hypothetical force, independent of physical and chemical forces, regarded as being the causative factor in the evolution and development of living organisms.
      • ‘Many scientists believed in the early nineteenth century that organic matter was the product of a vital force operating in living organisms, which the chemist could never mimic in the laboratory.’
      • ‘The idea of vital force, believed to be locked away in molecules of natural origin, was destroyed in 1828 when Wohler produced the naturally-occurring substance urea from inorganic starting materials.’
      • ‘Instead, he argued that disease should be treated by helping the vital force restore the body to harmony and balance.’
      • ‘These enzymes would then spare the body of the need to produce its own enzymes, thus conserving the vital force for other activities, like immunity and free radical scavenging.’
      • ‘He must assure himself that this historic crystal was the same as that formed under the influence of the so-called vital force.’
      • ‘The Etheric vital force also constitutes the substratum of mental experience, for all the ideas and images within the mind are generated out of its substance.’
      • ‘While interpreters have thus far said that the " marmas " were masses of tissue surrounding vital organs, they actually represented the stimulating points that contained the vital force, the trio claim.’
      • ‘If some vital force were present, he argued, then perpetual motion would become possible.’
      • ‘This observation has led some philosophers to claim that the organizing tendency apparent in living systems is evidence for a vital force, operating outside the realm of physics and chemistry.’
      existence, living, life, animation, animateness, aliveness, reality, actuality, essential nature, lifeblood, entity
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    2. 1.2 A person or thing that gives something vitality and strength.
      ‘he was a vital force in British music’
      • ‘Much of the country's vital force or sacredness was concentrated in the person of the king.’
      • ‘The Christian community continues to be a vital force in the world.’
      • ‘The plurality becomes a vital force the moment the artist's portrait is worked out in such a way that its role becomes an essential part of the work itself.’
      • ‘In the traditional Latin American view, public education is seen as a vital force in society, particularly in countries where the challenges of poverty seem intractable.’
      • ‘Crisis is reshaping Europe as a vital force in the world’
      • ‘Lenin is dead, but Wilson lives on as possibly the most vital force affecting international relations.’
      • ‘Above all, the bishops' conference, the USCCB, has got to be recognized once again, as a critical and vital force in the life of the U.S. Catholic Church.’
      • ‘The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.’
      • ‘He located the vital force of human behavior and thus society in passions, not reason, two centuries before Hobbes.’
      • ‘He became famous for his flexible diplomacy, goodwill towards neighbours and his eye for strategic marriages that preserved the vital force of the nation.’
      • ‘The result is an approximation of the animate, vital force of daylighting in a completely sheltered, unglazed area.’
      • ‘Rock and roll is a tremendously vital force in pop culture, no doubt.’
      • ‘Thirdly, he represents the landscape itself as a vital force in the process of crime and mystery, tending to hide and reveal crimes unpredictably, with its winds, shifting sands, and caves.’
      • ‘Is the contemporary synagogue a vital force generating renewed passion for Jewish life, or is it rather a superannuated institution contributing to the decline of Jewish participation, loyalty and behavior?’
      • ‘They knew that religion is a vital force in India that should not be legislated away.’
      • ‘The singer must pace herself carefully in this long and tiring role, but still remain a vital force in the complicated politics which take up much of the opera.’
      • ‘‘Public opinion,’ Morgan declared, ‘is the vital force in every law in a free government.’’
      • ‘He was, at the same time, a vital force in the South African art world.’
      • ‘Its military presence in the Western Pacific and in the Indian Oceans is a vital force for strategic stability in the broader Asia Pacific region.’
      • ‘It was a powerful coming together of diverse activists and long-time NDP activists from across the country in support of a common objective: to restore the left as a relevant and vital force in Canadian politics.’