In the abroad entry of The Oxford Living Dictionaries, there are a handful of examples containing the word spirit (Examples are rearranged by me):
- [T]here is a new buccaneering spirit abroad.
- First, there may be an entrepreneurial spirit increasingly abroad in Sweden and its cultural industries that has led to a wave of start-ups.
- A spirit of enquiry is abroad among the Chinese, and there is a class of students, by no means small in number, who receive with avidity instruction on scientific matters from the West.
- After all the bitterness in the game over the past few years, there seemed something of a new spirit abroad, to which the persona of Tony Gilbert, the Borders' Kiwi coach, has contributed.
- When traditional people speak of ‘spirits’ that are abroad, they tend to refer to presence such as the wind, or the creative force of a word.
In short, at the top of the new century he caught a new spirit abroad.
The OED gives, ‘When a nation is in the throes of revolution, wild spirits are abroad in the storm.’
- In our three weeks in Cornwall, Wales and Ireland, we saw amazing sites and felt remarkable spirits abroad in the land.
As for the first group of examples I can identify the meaning of the word spirit with the second meaning in spirit:
2 [in singular] The prevailing or typical quality, mood, or attitude of a person, group, or period of time.
What about last three examples? Do they refer to a ghost or an ethos?