Etymology
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soul (n.1)

"A substantial entity believed to be that in each person which lives, feels, thinks and wills" [Century Dictionary], Old English sawol "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being," from Proto-Germanic *saiwalō (source also of Old Saxon seola, Old Norse sala, Old Frisian sele, Middle Dutch siele, Dutch ziel, Old High German seula, German Seele, Gothic saiwala), of uncertain origin.

Sometimes said to mean originally "coming from or belonging to the sea," because that was supposed to be the stopping place of the soul before birth or after death [Barnhart]; if so, it would be from Proto-Germanic *saiwaz (see sea). Klein explains this as "from the lake," as a dwelling-place of souls in ancient northern Europe.

Meaning "spirit of a deceased person" is attested in Old English from 971. As a synonym for "person, individual, human being" (as in every living soul) it dates from early 14c. Soul-searching (n.) is attested from 1871, from the phrase used as a present-participle adjective (1610s). Distinguishing soul from spirit is a matter best left to theologians.

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soul (n.2)
"instinctive quality felt by black persons as an attribute," 1946, jazz slang, from soul (n.1). Also from this sense are soul brother (1957), soul sister (1967), soul food (1957), etc. Soul music, essentially gospel music with "girl," etc., in place of "Jesus," first attested 1961; William James used the term in 1900, in a spiritual/romantic sense, but in reference to inner music.
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soulful (adj.)
"full of feeling," 1860, from soul (n.1) + -ful. Meaning "expressive of characteristic Black feeling" is from 1964 (see soul (n.2)). Earlier as a noun (1640s), "as much as a soul can hold."
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soulless (adj.)
Old English sawolleas "dead, lifeless;" see soul (n.1) + -less. Modern use (1550s) likely is a re-formation.
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oversoul (n.)

1841, Emerson's word for the divine spiritual unity of things, based on Sanskrit adhyatman, from over- + soul (n.).

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soulmate (n.)
1822 (as soul mate), first attested in Coleridge, from soul (n.1) + mate (n.). One-word form is from early 20c.
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ame damnee (n.)
"devoted adherent, toady," from French âme damnée "familiar spirit," literally "damned soul," originally a soul damned by compact with a controlling demon. French âme"soul" (Old French anme, 9c.) is from Latin anima (see animus); for damnée see damn.
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metempsychosis (n.)

1580s, "passing of the soul at death into another body, human or animal," from Late Latin metempsychosis, from Greek metempsychosis, from meta, here indicating "change" (see meta-) + empsykhoun "to put a soul into," from en "in" (see in- (2)) + psychē "soul" (see psyche). A Pythagorean word for transmigration of souls at death. Related: Metempsychose (v.) "transfer from one body to another" (1590s).

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self-perception (n.)

"faculty of the immediate introspection of the soul by itself," 1670s, from self- + perception.

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self-realization (n.)

"the making actual, by an exertion of will, that which lies dormant in one's soul; the fulfilment, by one's own effort, of the potential in one's soul," 1839, from self- + realization.

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