Anima mundi – Definition & Meaning


Anima Mundi is a Latin term that translates to “soul of the world.” It is a concept that has been around for centuries and is often associated with the idea that the world is alive and has a spirit or soul. This article will explore the definition, origin, and meaning of anima mundi.


The term anima mundi has been defined in various ways. In general, it refers to the idea that there is a spirit or soul that animates the world. Some definitions include:

  • The vital principle that animates all living things and the universe as a whole.
  • The idea that the world has a consciousness or awareness that is interconnected with all living beings.
  • The belief that the world is a living organism with a soul that is responsible for its existence and sustenance.


The concept of anima mundi has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy. The philosopher Plato believed that the world was alive and had a soul. He called this soul the World Soul or anima mundi. This idea was later adopted by other philosophers, including Aristotle and the Stoics.
In the Middle Ages, the concept of anima mundi became associated with Christian theology. It was believed that God had infused the world with a soul that was responsible for its creation and sustenance.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of anima mundi can vary slightly depending on the dictionary you consult. Here are a few definitions from different sources:

  • Merriam-Webster: “the soul of the world especially in its relation to human beings.”
  • Oxford English Dictionary: “the soul or spirit of the world; the vital principle or animating force pervading the universe.”
  • “the soul or spirit of the universe; the animating principle pervading the cosmos.”


Anima mundi is often associated with the following concepts:

  • Pantheism: the belief that the universe and God are one and the same.
  • Holism: the idea that everything in the universe is interconnected and cannot be understood in isolation.
  • Environmentalism: the belief that the natural world has inherent value and should be protected.


Some synonyms for anima mundi include:

  • Universal Soul.
  • Cosmic Consciousness.
  • Divine Spark.


Since anima mundi is a concept that is not universally accepted, it does not have any true antonyms. However, some people might reject the idea of anima mundi in favor of a more mechanistic or materialistic worldview.

The Same Root Words Anima Mundi

The term anima mundi is made up of two Latin words: anima, meaning “soul” or “life force,” and mundi, meaning “of the world.” These same root words are used in other contexts as well. For example, anima is the term used for the soul in Jungian psychology, while mundi is used in the phrase “mundane world” to refer to the everyday world we live in.

Example Sentences

Here are a few example sentences that use the term anima mundi:

  • Some people believe that the anima mundi is responsible for the beauty and diversity of the natural world.
  • The idea of anima mundi is central to many indigenous cultures, who view the world as a living entity.
  • The philosopher Plotinus believed that the anima mundi was a reflection of the divine.

Anima mundi is a concept that has been around for centuries and is still debated by philosophers and theologians today. While its exact meaning may vary depending on who you ask, it generally refers to the idea that the world has a soul or spirit that animates it. This concept has been associated with pantheism, holism, and environmentalism, among other beliefs.

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