Admittedly, it's a rather strange topic but... . Please note, this is different from 'obsession' or being possessed by a spirit:

The word incorporate is sometimes used to indicate the process of an alleged spirit entity temporarily taking over control of a given human being.

In order to indicate the opposite, which is the process of the alleged spirit leaving the human body, is the word disincorporate appropriate?

I have searched through my favourite dictionaries. Only the big Oxford English Dictionary has an entry for 'disincorporate' that would match the meaning but it is marked as obsolete.

An alternative word option could be 'discorporate', but drawing on the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, it seems even more closely related to 'corporate' in a sense of business, than 'disincorporate'.

Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th Ed. [no entry]
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary [no entry]
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5th Edition [no entry]

Could I get your informed opinion on this - does this word convey the meaning I intend to convey?

Many thanks! J

  • Can you please provide evidence of the usage of “incorporate” you are referring to?
    – user 66974
    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:17
  • Hi user2922582, please simply search for 'incorporate' and 'spirit' and you will get many results with 'incorporate the Spirit'. Agreed, 'Spirit' and 'spirit' are to different things but the idea of the process behind - which is 'incorporating something' is the same.
    – JoHKa
    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:41
  • You are probably referring to something along these lines: catholicexchange.com/five-ways-incorporate-holy-spirit - not sure what the opposite process is called, but disincorporate or disincorporation are mainly used in business contexts and I’m not sure they would properly fit here.
    – user 66974
    Apr 13, 2018 at 7:15
  • As I have said, in the Oxford English Dictionary it is listed with the description 'Disunited or separated from a body, corporation, or society' but marked as obsolete †.
    – JoHKa
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


In the SparkNotes for "A Stranger in a Strange Land" this analysis of Chapter XXXVI- XXXIX brings up synoptic note that, "Jill asks Jubal to "grok the fullness"; she explains that though Mike has discorporated, like any spirit, he could never truly be killed." It later says in the Analysis portion that, "Mike's death scene—or "discorporation," since Jill explains that no human spirit ever truly dies—is a grotesque portrayal of the worst of human culture which goes exactly as Mike plans." It is more a religious and philosophical reference to the spirit of being human. The 'Self' defined as a 'corporate fiction'. An abstract spirit residing in a physical, corporal form. To 'disincorporate' comes up as 'to dissolve' verb (used with object), disincorporated, disincorporating. 1. to remove from an incorporated state or status. Which is not the same as a takeover by a foreign corporal spirit replacement.

  • 1
    Thanks Norman, so you would suggest 'discorporate' instead of 'disincorporate' - your example convinces me!
    – JoHKa
    Apr 13, 2018 at 20:18
  • @Johann_ka You are welcome. Though, now I am stuck still looking for a single word term that represents the phrase ' spirit possession'. It seems as though 'possession' by an alternate spiritual form is what most religions have used to define it. It is odd that the references to a corporal connection cease. The best simile is 'disenfranchise', used with 'spirit'. A 'disenfranchised spirit' would have no corporal sustenance, " verb: disenfranchise; to deprive (a person, place, etc) of any franchise or right Dictionary.com Apr 16, 2018 at 13:12
  • I think that disenfranchised is mainly bound to state, citizenship and legal contexts. But when used with spirit, it sounds good to me.
    – JoHKa
    Apr 16, 2018 at 19:47

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