Soul, n. [OE. soule,
saule, AS. sāwel, sāwl; akin to
OFries. s?le, OS. s?ola, D. ziel, G.
seele, OHG. s?la, s?ula, Icel.
sāla, Sw. själ, Dan. siæl, Goth.
saiwala; of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to L.
saeculum a lifetime, age (cf. Secular.)]
1. The spiritual, rational, and immortal part in
man; that part of man which enables him to think, and which renders
him a subject of moral government; -- sometimes, in distinction from
the higher nature, or spirit, of man, the so-called animal soul, that
is, the seat of life, the sensitive affections and phantasy, exclusive
of the voluntary and rational powers; -- sometimes, in distinction
from the mind, the moral and emotional part of man's nature, the seat
of feeling, in distinction from intellect; -- sometimes, the intellect
only; the understanding; the seat of knowledge, as distinguished from
feeling. In a more general sense, "an animating, separable,
surviving entity, the vehicle of individual personal existence."
The eyes of our souls only then begin to see,
when our bodily eyes are closing. Law.
2. The seat of real life or vitality; the
source of action; the animating or essential part. "The hidden
soul of harmony." Milton.
Thou sun, of this great world both eye and
3. The leader; the inspirer; the moving
spirit; the heart; as, the soul of an enterprise; an able
general is the soul of his army.
He is the very soul of bounty!
4. Energy; courage; spirit; fervor; affection,
or any other noble manifestation of the heart or moral nature;
inherent power or goodness.
That he wants algebra he must confess;
But not a soul to give our arms success.
5. A human being; a person; -- a familiar
appellation, usually with a qualifying epithet; as, poor
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good
news from a far country. Prov. xxv. 25.
God forbid so many simple souls Shak.
Should perish by the aword!
Now mistress Gilpin (careful soul).
6. A pure or disembodied spirit.
That to his only Son . . . every soul in
Shall bend the knee.
☞ Soul is used in the formation of numerous compounds,
most of which are of obvious signification; as, soul-betraying,
soul-consuming, soul-destroying, soul-
distracting, soul-enfeebling, soul-exalting,
soul-felt, soul-harrowing, soul-piercing,
soul-quickening, soul-reviving, soul-stirring,
soul-subduing, soul-withering, etc.
Syn. -- Spirit; life; courage; fire; ardor.
Cure of souls. See Cure,
n., 2. -- Soul bell, the
passing bell. Bp. Hall. -- Soul foot.
See Soul scot, below. [Obs.] -- Soul
scot or Soul shot. [Soul +
scot, or shot; cf. AS. sāwelsceat.] (O.
Eccl. Law) A funeral duty paid in former times for a requiem
for the soul. Ayliffe.