Difference between “spirit” and “soul”
Is there any difference between the two? Or do both refer to the part of body that is believed to exist after you die?
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Soul is a Germanic word; spirit is a Latin word. They are used synonymously in some contexts, but each has its own quirks, like any pair of putative synonyms.
Spirit comes from Latin spiritus, which means 'breath', and is therefore symbolic of life of all sort, including human life, and also of the state of being alive.
If you stop breathing, your spirit leaves you. Very straightforward body metaphor.
The OED says, of spirit,
Soul is common Germanic, and is generally used in situations where today we would use words like personality, character, mind -- or spirit, to refer to the way people behave and our intuitions about "what they're really like".
So, if one is sufficiently abstract, yes, they can be synonymous. But beware of specific uses, which are highly idiomatic.
Yes, they are sometimes synonymous. But there are many cases in which they aren't.
For instance, if you're talking about morality, the concept of right and wrong, "soul" is suitable.
On the other hand, when one is talking about strong dedication or loyalty, "spirit" is used:
The mood of a period:
There are also expressions like "I am with you in spirit" where "soul" can't be substituted.
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No. Soul is supposed to be a part of human body. Spirit is a supernatural being external to the human body.