• synonyms


[spawr-tiv, spohr-]
See more synonyms for sportive on Thesaurus.com
  1. playful or frolicsome; jesting, jocose, or merry: a sportive puppy.
  2. done in sport, rather than in earnest: a sportive show of affection.
  3. pertaining to or of the nature of a sport or sports.
  4. Biology. mutative.
  5. Archaic. ardent; wanton.
Show More

Origin of sportive

First recorded in 1580–90; sport + -ive
Related formsspor·tive·ly, adverbspor·tive·ness; Archaic. sport·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·spor·tive, adjectiveun·spor·tive·ly, adverbun·spor·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for sportive

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sportive

boon, festive, frisky, frolicsome, game, jocular, merry, sprightly, wanton, gamesome, prankish

Examples from the Web for sportive

Historical Examples of sportive

  • Such characters are not ruled by fate but by a sportive chance.

    The American Mind

    Bliss Perry

  • He plays with two sportive spaniels, and cries "Down, Sir, down."

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Fred shook it as he wished, though he was far from feeling in a sportive mood.

  • During this sportive encounter, Mr. Regulus came up to greet me.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • It is the only time I ever saw this hawk in a sportive or aggressive mood.

British Dictionary definitions for sportive


  1. playful or joyous
  2. done in jest rather than seriously
  3. of, relating to, or interested in sports
  4. obsolete wanton or amorousa sportive wench
Show More
Derived Formssportively, adverbsportiveness, 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 sportive


1580s, from sport + -ive. Related: Sportively; sportiveness.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper