G5590 – psuche – ψυχή a gentle breath; fig. a light breeze, life-breath, living creature, a soul

Strong’s ID:
Greek Word:
Part of Speech:
noun feminine
, a life
, a breath, breeze, spirit
Usage Count:
Find “psuche” in the Bible (New Testament)

Equip God’s People Greek Lexicon

1) a gentle breath
2) figuratively: a light breeze (i.e., the gentle breath of God)
3) figuratively: a life-breath or a living creature (i.e., contains the breath of life)
4) figuratively: a soul, the essence of a human being (i.e., your mind, will, emotions)

Word Picture:
Contrasting this with , the two are not easily distinguishable and historically not considered independent concepts. While “psuche” is gentle (i.e., the frailty of earthly life), “pneuma” can be gentle at times (i.e., the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit life is eternal and not frail). While the soul (“psuche”) is often attributed as “the mind, will, and emotions,” scripture often shows those stirring out of the spirit (“pneuma”) as well.

Contrasting this with and , we are considered to be body, soul (“psuche”), and spirit (“pneuma”). While the body cannot live without the spirit (cf. ), Jesus also said not to fear those that can only kill the body and not the soul, but God who is able to destroy soul and body in Hell (cf. ), which comes after their bodily resurrection (cf. ).

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Strong’s Greek Lexicon

from ; breath, i.e. (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from , which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from , which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew , and ):—heart (+- ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

Owing to changes in the enumeration while in progress, there were no words left for numbers 2717 and 3203–3302, which were therefore silently dropped out of the vocabulary and references as redundant.

Thayer’s Greek Definitions

1) breath
1a) the breath of life
1a1) the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing
1a1a) of animals
1a1b) of men
1b) life
1c) that in which there is life
1c1) a living being, a living soul
2) the soul
2a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.)
2b) the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life
2c) the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body)

Thayer’s Definitions are as edited by the Online Bible of Winterbourne, Ontario. They removed the etymology, cross-references, and Greek phrases and changed some of Thayer’s Unitarian doctrinal positions concerning the work and person of Christ.