In religion, either supernatural being that is not a god; or a non-physical quality or dimension to human beings (and in some cases, other living creatures) that is of higher value than the physical body.
The word comes from Latin spiritus, basically meaning "breath", but which also could denote "soul", "courage" and "vigor". The word other meanings too, but those are beyond the scope of this encyclopaedia.
The word spritual comes from "spirit", but has a meaning that goes further, indicating bliss, nearness to ones spirit, or to spiritual beings.
Spirits in relgions define beings that are higher than human beings, less than god or the gods.
Spirits fall usually into two categories: good and bad. Good spirits are generally called angels, bad spirits are called demons. Different religions have other specific words for such spirits.
With living creatures
In religious systems, when spirit is used for a quality, dimension or energy with living creatures, it centres around human beings. In many systems, only human beings has this spirit, in other systems, all living creatures have it.
There is no definite distinction between spirit and soul, in many systems these are two words describing the very same dimension to human existence.