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Definition of Pneuma

Pneuma: The life-giving principle. According to the school of medicine in ancient Alexandria, life was associated with a vapor called the pneuma. The belief in pneuma was called pneumatism. In hindsight, pneumatism was an early attempt to explain respiration which is, indeed, the life-giving principle.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=23460
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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