1. (noun) life principle, life force, vital essence, special nature, a material symbol of a life principle, source of emotions - the essential quality and vitality of a being or entity. Also used for a physical object, individual, ecosystem or social group in which this essence is located.
Nā, he mauri tō ngā pakake, he mauri tō ngā tāngata, he mauri tō ngā tuna, he mauri tō ngā manu, he mauri tō ngā ika, nā reira i mate ai ēnei mea katoa i te mākutu; ki te mākututia e te Māori ēnei mea, ka mate, ngaro tonu atu; ahakoa nui ēnei mea, ki te mākututia ka ngaro (BFM 2013:248-249). / Now, whales have a mauri, people have a mauri, eels have a mauri, birds have a mauri, fish have a mauri, therefore everything can be destroyed by mākutu; if the Māori bewitches these things, they will be destroyed and disappear, no matter how big these things are, if a spell is cast upon them they will disappear.
Takoto mai, e koro, kia tangihia koe e ō iwi. Auē! Ka mau te punga here o te waka nei. Ka ngaro koe, te kaihautū, te kākākura o roto i te pōkai, te puhi o Aotearoa, te kura whakahirahira o Te Waipounamu, te mauri o te whenua, te mauri o te tangata, haere! Haere rā! (TP 7/1906:9) / Lie in state, sir, to be wept over by your people. Oh, dear! The anchor of this canoe is taken. You are gone, the fugleman, the leader of the flock, the adored one of the North Island, the important treasure of the South Island, the life force of the land and the people. Depart! Farewell!
(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 227-228;)
See also pā whakawairua