spiritual (adj.)

c. 1300, "of or concerning the spirit" (especially in religious aspects), from Old French spirituel, esperituel (12c.) or directly from a Medieval Latin ecclesiastical use of Latin spiritualis "of or pertaining to breath, breathing, wind, or air; pertaining to spirit," from spiritus "of breathing, of the spirit" (see spirit (n.)). Meaning "of or concerning the church" is attested from mid-14c. Related: Spiritually. An Old English word for "spiritual" was godcundlic.

In avibus intellige studia spiritualia, in animalibus exercitia corporalia [Richard of St. Victoror (1110-1173): "Watch birds to understand how spiritual things move, animals to understand physical motion." - E.P.]

spiritual (n.)

"African-American religious song," 1866, from spiritual (adj.). Earlier "a spiritual thing" (1660s).

updated on September 25, 2018

Definitions of spiritual from WordNet
spiritual (adj.)
concerned with sacred matters or religion or the church;
spiritual leaders
lords temporal and spiritual
spiritual songs
Synonyms: religious
spiritual (adj.)
concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul;
spiritual values
a spiritual approach to life
spiritual fulfillment
Synonyms: unearthly
spiritual (adj.)
lacking material body or form or substance; "the vital transcendental soul belonging to the spiritual realm"-Lewis Mumford;
spiritual beings
spiritual (adj.)
resembling or characteristic of a phantom;
spiritual tappings at a seance
Synonyms: apparitional / ghostlike / ghostly / phantasmal / spectral
spiritual (n.)
a kind of religious song originated by Blacks in the southern United States;
Synonyms: Negro spiritual
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.