Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


All pursuits that serve to connect the soul with the world whence it came are rejected.

I have never seen the soul withdrawn without a struggle with the body.

When the soul was again led into the body, it related all that had happened to it.

Then I heard a voice, saying, 'Lo, the soul seeketh to ascend!'

The good bishop believed she had jeopardised her soul with divorce.

He has the soul of a merchant tailor, actually, but not the tailor's manhood.

But he was a generous man and all meanness of spirit was foreign to his soul.

The land of Phoenicia had always been a counting-house without a soul.

Everybody was drawn to her, yet not a soul took any comfort in her.

Falling from the lips of others, they dropped with conviction into my own soul.


"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 *saiwalo (cf. 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" (e.g. every living soul) it dates from early 14c. Soul-searching (n.) is attested from 1871, from the phrase used as a past participle adjective (1610s). Distinguishing soul from spirit is a matter best left to theologians.



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.