[spir-i-choo-uh-liz-uh m]


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.

Nearby words

  1. spirits of turpentine,
  2. spirits of wine,
  3. spiritual,
  4. spiritual bouquet,
  5. spiritual incest,
  6. spiritualist,
  7. spirituality,
  8. spiritualize,
  9. spirituals,
  10. spiritualty

Origin of spiritualism

First recorded in 1825–35; spiritual + -ism

Related formsspir·it·u·al·is·tic, adjectivespir·it·u·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti·spir·it·u·al·ism, nounan·ti·spir·it·u·al·is·tic, adjective

Can be confusedspirited spiritual spiritualistic

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

Examples from the Web for spiritualism

British Dictionary definitions for spiritualism



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 Formsspiritualist, nounspiritualistic, 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

Word Origin and History for spiritualism



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper