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90s Slang You Should Know


[sprahy] /spraɪ/
adjective, spryer, spryest or sprier, spriest.
active; nimble; agile; energetic; brisk.
Origin of spry
First recorded in 1740-50; origin uncertain
Related forms
spryly, adverb
spryness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The girls were luxuriant flappers of every hue of polished ebony; the boys were spindle-legged and spry and bullet-headed.

    The Soul of John Brown Stephen Graham
  • You must have had a good sleep last night, you are so bright and spry this morning.

    The Right Knock Helen Van-Anderson
  • There, he was formally introduced to the spry little postmistress, who looked at him sharply over her spectacles.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • At thirty he was a glib, spry person with a fancy for gay housings.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • Yes, clear 'way down there somebody was comin' swingin' along—somebody little an' happy an' spry.

    Four Girls and a Compact Annie Hamilton Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for spry


adjective spryer, spryest, sprier, spriest
active and brisk; nimble
Derived Forms
spryly, adverb
spryness, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect spraggsprig
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spry

1746, dialectal, perhaps a shortening and alteration of sprightly, or from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse sprækr, dialectal Swedish sprygg "brisk, active"), from Proto-Germanic *sprek-, from PIE *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (see sparse).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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