- sprightliness of spirit or wit; lively intelligence.
Origin of esprit
Examples from the Web for esprit
Throughout the debate, Republicans never lost their esprit de corps.The Republican Frat-Boy Culture
March 28, 2010
Esprit de classe—if one may coin the phrase—was strong in Mrs. Munt.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Esprit enough for a dozen reviewers and fifty fashionable novelists.The Fortunes Of Glencore
Charles James Lever
That would have to come first: the Esprit de Corps of the Poor.All Roads Lead to Calvary
Jerome K. Jerome
That is "esprit de corp." We had a pretty good time in this village.Over the top with the 25th
Her Ladyship, for an esprit fort, is the greatest coward that I ever saw.Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
George Otto Trevelyan
- spirit and liveliness, esp in wit
Word Origin and History for esprit
1590s, from Middle French esprit "spirit, mind," from Old French espirit, from Latin spiritus "spirit" (see spirit).
For initial e-, see especial. Esprit de corps first recorded 1780. French also has the excellent phrase esprit de l'escalier, literally "spirit of the staircase," defined in OED as, "a retort or remark that occurs to a person after the opportunity to make it has passed." It also has espirit fort, a "strong-minded" person, one independent of current prejudices, especially a freethinker in religion.