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animal spirits

exuberance arising from an excess of energy; vivacity and good humor:
The children romped on the lawn, full of animal spirits.
Origin of animal spirits
First recorded in 1535-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for animal spirits
Historical Examples
  • If the animal spirits fail, they represent it as an actual temptation.

  • At the same time they possessed a large fund of animal spirits.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • I had not the flow of animal spirits that appeals so strongly to children.

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
  • He owns that his exuberance of animal spirits often leads him away.

    Happy-Thought Hall F. C. Burnand
  • Most of this cruelty, I think, is born of a sheer excess of animal spirits.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
  • He has more than the usual amount of animal spirits, that is all.

    Bert Lloyd's Boyhood J. McDonald Oxley
  • It was a mere outbreak of animal spirits, and was not taken seriously.

    The Son of a Servant August Strindberg
  • She rolled downhill at Rialto bridge to tempt me with her flow of animal spirits.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • It was nonsense, effervescent with animal spirits and impertinence.

  • On the whole, the p. 125performance wanted more glow and animal spirits.

    Theodore Watts-Dunton James Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for animal spirits

animal spirits

plural noun
cheerful and exuberant boisterousness
Word Origin
originally, referring to a vital force believed to be dispatched throughout the body by the brain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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