[ sohl ]
See synonyms for: soulsouls on

  1. the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

  2. the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.

  1. the disembodied spirit of a deceased person: He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.

  2. the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

  3. a human being; person.

  4. high-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage, etc.

  5. the animating principle; the essential element or part of something.

  6. the inspirer or moving spirit of some action, movement, etc.

  7. the embodiment of some quality: He was the very soul of tact.

  8. (initial capital letter)Christian Science. God; the divine source of all identity and individuality.

  9. shared ethnic awareness and pride among Black people, especially Black Americans.

  10. deeply felt emotion, as conveyed or expressed by a performer or artist.

  1. of, characteristic of, or for Black Americans or their culture: soul newspapers.

Origin of soul

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English sāwl, sāwol; cognate with Dutch ziel, German Seele, Old Norse sāl, Gothic saiwala

Other words for soul

Other words from soul

  • soullike, adjective
  • un·der·soul, noun

Words Nearby soul Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use soul in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for soul (1 of 2)


/ (səʊl) /

  1. the spirit or immaterial part of man, the seat of human personality, intellect, will, and emotions, regarded as an entity that survives the body after death: Related adjective: pneumatic

  2. Christianity the spiritual part of a person, capable of redemption from the power of sin through divine grace

  1. the essential part or fundamental nature of anything

  2. a person's feelings or moral nature as distinct from other faculties

    • Also called: soul music a type of Black music resulting from the addition of jazz, gospel, and pop elements to the urban blues style

    • (as modifier): a soul singer

  3. (modifier) of or relating to Black Americans and their culture: soul brother; soul food

  4. nobility of spirit or temperament: a man of great soul and courage

  5. an inspiring spirit or leading figure, as of a cause or movement

  6. a person regarded as typifying some characteristic or quality: the soul of discretion

  7. a person; individual: an honest soul

  8. the life and soul See life (def. 28)

  9. upon my soul! an exclamation of surprise

Origin of soul

Old English sāwol; related to Old Frisian sēle, Old Saxon sēola, Old High German sēula soul

Derived forms of soul

  • soul-like, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Soul (2 of 2)


/ (səʊl) /

  1. Christian Science another word for God

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with soul


In addition to the idiom beginning with soul

  • soul of, the

also see:

  • bare one's soul
  • heart and soul
  • keep body and soul together
  • kindred spirit (soul)
  • living soul

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.