Holy Spirit

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Middle English Holy Speryte, holy spiriet, holy spyryt, an alteration of earlier Middle English Holygost, Haliȝ Gast, holy goost (see Holy Ghost), equivalent to holy +‎ Spirit.


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Proper noun[edit]

Holy Spirit

  1. (Christianity) The person (hypostasis) of the Trinity or Godhead corresponding to divine essence present in the faithful (particularly inspired prophets) and considered to proceed either from (Eastern Orthodoxy) God the Father alone or (Roman Catholicism) from Him together with God the Son.
    • 1731, “Dialogue on the Holy Spirit”, in Alexander Campbell, editor, The Millennial Harbinger, volume 2, page 553:
      The Holy Spirit is now the Spirit of Christ as it was once known by the title of the Spirit of God.
  2. (Judaism) The spirit of God, especially the gifts of wisdom and prophecy.
Usage notes[edit]

This expression has superseded the term Holy Ghost in many Christian denominations and Bible translations.

Coordinate terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A calque of Arabicرُوح الْقُدُس(rūḥ al-qudus, Spirit of Holiness), a calque of the Ancient Greek and Hebrew senses above.

Proper noun[edit]

Holy Spirit

  1. (Islam) The spirit of God, especially in its inspiration of prophets and quickening of fetuses.
  2. (Islam) The archangel Gabriel.