adjective, rac·i·er, rac·i·est.
  1. slightly improper or indelicate; suggestive; risqué.
  2. vigorous; lively; spirited.
  3. sprightly; piquant; pungent: a racy literary style.
  4. having an agreeably peculiar taste or flavor, as wine, fruit, etc.

Origin of racy

First recorded in 1645–55; race2 + -y1
Related formsrac·i·ly, adverbrac·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for racy

Antonyms for racy

2. slow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for racily

Historical Examples of racily

  • Without dignity we may write clearly, or nervously, or racily, but we have not attained to a style.

  • As for himself, he was inclined to be taciturn, being little versed in the matters on which the rest discoursed so racily.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • It is Elizabethan, yet thoroughly modern; it is racily Irish, yet universal English.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy

British Dictionary definitions for racily


adjective racier or raciest
  1. (of a person's manner, literary style, etc) having a distinctively lively and spirited quality; fresh
  2. having a characteristic or distinctive flavoura racy wine
  3. suggestive; slightly indecent; risquéa racy comedy
Derived Formsracily, adverbraciness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for racily



1650s, "having a characteristic taste" (of wines, fruits, etc.), from race (n.2) in its older sense of "flavor" or in the sense "class of wines" + -y (2); meaning "having a quality of vigor" (1660s) led to that of "improper, risqué," first recorded 1901, probably reinforced by phrase racy of the soil "earthy" (1870). Related: Racily; raciness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper