[ spir-i-choo-uh-liz-uhm ]
See synonyms for: spiritualismspiritualistic on Thesaurus.com

  1. 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.

  2. the practices or phenomena associated with this belief.

  1. the belief that all reality is spiritual.

  2. Metaphysics. any of various doctrines maintaining that the ultimate reality is spirit or mind.

  3. spiritual quality or tendency.

  4. insistence on the spiritual side of things, as in philosophy or religion.

Origin of spiritualism

First recorded in 1825–35; spiritual + -ism

Other words from spiritualism

  • spir·it·u·al·is·tic, adjective
  • spir·it·u·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·spir·it·u·al·ism, noun
  • an·ti·spir·it·u·al·is·tic, adjective

Words that may be confused with spiritualism

Words Nearby spiritualism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spiritualism in a sentence

  • The miracles are believed in by many, but spiritualism lags far behind the Mormon theology, and probably always will do.

  • That which goes by the names of clairvoyance and spiritualism is based solely upon an unreasoning credulity.

  • After a time clairvoyance was replaced by spiritualism, and I was again challenged to test the virtue of mediums.

  • Such a culmination has been attained by the believers in Modern spiritualism.

    Mystic London: | Charles Maurice Davies
  • The fact that I do so shows, at all events, that I have looked seriously at spiritualism since.

    Mystic London: | Charles Maurice Davies

British Dictionary definitions for spiritualism


/ (ˈspɪrɪtjʊəˌlɪzəm) /

  1. the belief that the disembodied spirits of the dead, surviving in another world, can communicate with the living in this world, esp through mediums

  2. the doctrines and practices associated with this belief

  1. philosophy the belief that because reality is to some extent immaterial it is therefore spiritual

  2. any doctrine (in philosophy, religion, etc) that prefers the spiritual to the material

  3. the condition or quality of being spiritual

Derived forms of spiritualism

  • 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