élan vital

[ French ey-lahn vee-tal ]
/ French eɪ lɑ̃ viˈtal /
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noun

(especially in Bergsonian philosophy) the creative force within an organism that is responsible for growth, change, and necessary or desirable adaptations.

Nearby words

  1. écurie,
  2. édhessa,
  3. égalité,
  4. égalité, philippe,
  5. élan,
  6. élancé,
  7. élisabethville,
  8. éluard,
  9. éluard, paul,
  10. émigré

Origin of élan vital

1905–10; < French: literally, vital ardor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elan vital

  • What is this elan-vital, that a little fall in temperature would banish altogether from the universe?

    Winds Of Doctrine|George Santayana


British Dictionary definitions for elan vital

élan vital

/ French (elɑ̃ vital) /

noun

a creative principle held by Henri Bergson to be present in all organisms and responsible for evolutionCompare Bergsonism

Word Origin for élan vital

literally: vital impetus

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