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[spir-i-choo-uh-liz-uh m] /ˈspɪr ɪ tʃu əˌlɪz əm/
the belief or doctrine that the spirits of the dead, surviving after the mortal life, can and do communicate with the living, especially through a person (a medium) particularly susceptible to their influence.
the practices or phenomena associated with this belief.
the belief that all reality is spiritual.
Metaphysics. any of various doctrines maintaining that the ultimate reality is spirit or mind.
spiritual quality or tendency.
insistence on the spiritual side of things, as in philosophy or religion.
Origin of spiritualism
First recorded in 1825-35; spiritual + -ism
Related forms
spiritualistic, adjective
spiritualistically, adverb
antispiritualism, noun
antispiritualistic, adjective
Can be confused
spirited, spiritual, spiritualistic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spiritualistic
Historical Examples
  • He had never attended a spiritualistic séance and had no intention of doing so.

    Possessed Cleveland Moffett
  • It appeals to me as no spiritualistic performance has ever done.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland
  • Well, spiritualistic, mediumistic, and supernatural phenomena in general.

    Fruits of Culture Leo Tolstoy
  • The opposition to spiritualistic teachings has its good and healthy side.

    Seen and Unseen E. Katharine Bates
  • She was performing, in fact, a sort of spiritualistic "Excelsior."

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • I had found most "spiritualistic" teaching to be purely Theistic.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • See also Professor Lombroso on “spiritualistic” phenomena, p. 396.

  • She is said not to take part any longer in spiritualistic sances.

  • There was a good deal of spiritualistic literature of the better sort.

    Prairie Gold Various
  • "He went to a spiritualistic sance this afternoon," he said presently.

    The Everlasting Arms

    Joseph Hocking
British Dictionary definitions for spiritualistic


the belief that the disembodied spirits of the dead, surviving in another world, can communicate with the living in this world, esp through mediums
the doctrines and practices associated with this belief
(philosophy) the belief that because reality is to some extent immaterial it is therefore spiritual
any doctrine (in philosophy, religion, etc) that prefers the spiritual to the material
the condition or quality of being spiritual
Derived Forms
spiritualist, noun
spiritualistic, adjective
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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Word Origin and History for spiritualistic



1796, "advocacy of a spiritual view," from spiritual + -ism. Table-rapping sense is from 1853.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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