The following is a passage from this article:

In the spirit of full disclosure, the texter in question turned out to be my editor at Salon. (Hi, Sarah!) She has not texted me again.

What does in the spirit of in the passage mean? I have looked it up in the dictionaries, but couldn't find a definition for it.


5 Answers 5


Taking the sentence as a whole, the texter feels that full disclosure is very important. Therefore, a text was issued. The text was issued in the spirit of the perceived requirement for full disclosure.

In other words, an act performed in the spirit of something is done because the something requires it. The reason given is often moral, as it is in the example.

  • 2
    Good answer, except for the phrase "a text was issued". Indeed, the person who feels full disclosure is important (and who is making the disclosure) is the recipient of the text, not the sender. Of course, the recipient may well have replied, but we don't know that from the quotation given.
    – rjpond
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 15:36

Gymglish defines in the spirit of as

in the attitude of, in the essence of (idiom)

Ex: It's not in the spirit of teamwork to betray one another. (That's not the essence of working together at all.)

Whereas WordHippo says that it means

In keeping with given expectations, norms, ideals, or rules.

So I think that the phrase In the spirit of full disclosure means wishing to be completely open/honest, (just like a "full disclosure" is in law or business).

Note: full disclosure is a formal set phrase meaning :

the disclosure of all relevant information, without the withholding of significant facts which may bias a decision.

One can clearly discern irony in this sentence, as the intentionally formal (or even pompous?) register of the phrase is used to increase the hilariousness of the situation.


It means "While I could argue that the letter of the rules about full disclosure do not actually require me to disclose these, I am not going to argue technicalities, but disclose it, because the intention, the spirit, of those laws is that you know things like this."


My understanding of this phrase is "considering the very core or true meaning of something, it is fitting to do what is mentioned immediately afterwards."


In the spirit of, means that the person involved was in the right mood to do something.


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