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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spiritualistic
Historical Examples
  • The traditional notion of instinct must be left in the old theological and spiritualistic repertories.

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

    The Shadow World Hamlin Garland
  • spiritualistic investigations, unfortunately, are considered by scientific men too often as reaching backward only.

  • I had found most "spiritualistic" teaching to be purely Theistic.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • They may be stimulated by intoxication and disease, or they may be stimulated by the morbid conditions of a spiritualistic sance.

    Occultism and Common-Sense Beckles Willson
  • "He went to a spiritualistic sance this afternoon," he said presently.

    The Everlasting Arms Joseph Hocking
  • The evidence for such recollection seems to me better than the evidence for most spiritualistic phenomena.

  • A man named Fawcett edited a spiritualistic paper, called the Gleam.

    The Brightener C. N. Williamson
  • I know it sounds foolish, but we were having a spiritualistic seance.

    The Thirteenth Chair Bayard Veiller
  • In that year she was persuaded by some friends to join a spiritualistic circle.

    Occultism and Common-Sense Beckles Willson
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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