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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spryly
Historical Examples
  • He could run up the mast to set the lantern or clear a line as spryly as a cat.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Well, we got over the bowlder field—Fitz as spryly as any of us.

    Pluck on the Long Trail

    Edwin L. Sabin
  • Rilla noticed that he was stepping as spryly as ever he had.

    Rilla of the Lighthouse Grace May North
  • And all the time Johnnie Green was working as spryly as he could.

    The Tale of Old Dog Spot Arthur Scott Bailey
  • There is no shadow of doubt in Stratford that the spirits of the Riggses are spryly cavorting around their former abode.

  • "I don't blame you for adopting a policy of partial concealment," said the Chief Inspector, spryly.

    Number Seventeen Louis Tracy
  • And he never stopped to think how lucky he was to be able to move so spryly with the help of either his legs or his wings.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • And there they found his mother, sweeping the floor as spryly as if she had never known a sick day in her whole life.

    The Tale of Billy Woodchuck Arthur Scott Bailey
  • The next morning Rusty Wren helped his wife so spryly that long before midday the house-cleaning was finished.

    The Tale of Rusty Wren

    Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Then she hopped off as spryly as a sparrow, on her thin ankles, moving with nervous haste.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for spryly


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 spryly



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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