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07-Nov-2017 10:07

Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased, the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus also in the meaning of "breath" or "blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century).

The word has no commonly accepted etymology; the OED notes "of obscure origin" only.

The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.