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See also: Geist



From German Geist (spirit, ghost, mind). Doublet of ghost.


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geist (plural geists)

  1. Ghost, apparition.
    • 1877, The spiritual magazine:
      The geists eat and drink, but only as geists — not as spirits. ' We have dined,' they say ' sumptuously.' A vapour- ... If dead men tell no tales, their geists will tell them, if they find opportunity.
    • 1881, M.T.W., Connor Magan's Luck and Other Stories[1], reprint edition, Project Gutenberg, published 2005:
      Koerg was not slow to recognize a geist; his knees shook, and he dared not utter a word.
    • 1996, Stephen Barker, Excavations and Their Objects:
      [...] it makes no difference whether these figures were real, corporeal beings or not, since each one, in terms of Freud's (auto) aesthetic, is a spirit, a geist, a complex function of Freud's worldview.
  2. Spirit (of a group, age, era, etc).
    • 1974, V. Jagannatha Panicker, Crucifixion of the Unborn: Underpopulated India[2], Digitized edition, Sivaji Publications, published 2008, page 54:
      The population that today explodes on a stagnant society with a catastrophic echo, is the geist of the times that shock our great nation into a new sense of her grandeur.
    • 1976, Colorado lawyer - Volume 5[3] (Law), Colorado Bar Association, page 1640:
      However, the geist of the times following the World War was the "normalcy" of Warren G. Harding.
    • 1995, Donald Pizer, The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism:
      [...] a term badly applied, as the method is neither a historicism (the belief that each era or period has a geist, principle of identity, or a definable sense of destiny) nor new.
    • 2009 October 13, Adam Curtis, Lee Ravitz (comment), “Kabul: City Number One - Part 3”, in BBC[4]:
      ... particular 'culture areas' of the world are dominated by their own peculiar geist or 'cultural soul' ...

Related terms[edit]


  • OED, geist





  1. elative singular of gei

Old High German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-West Germanic *gaist, from Proto-Germanic *gaistaz.


geist m (plural geista)

  1. spirit


Derived terms[edit]


  • Middle High German: geist