adjective, spry·er, spry·est or spri·er, spri·est.
  1. active; nimble; agile; energetic; brisk.

Origin of spry

First recorded in 1740–50; origin uncertain
Related formsspry·ly, adverbspry·ness, noun
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Examples from the Web for sprier

Historical Examples of sprier

  • Sprier than many young boys, and handsomer than his own son if she did say so.


    Edna Ferber

  • Now, Johnnie Green was spry; but this black lamb was sprier.

  • Now, with Jasper and Mrs. Jay both flying at him, Frisky had to be sprier than ever.

    The Tale of Frisky Squirrel

    Arthur Scott Bailey

British Dictionary definitions for sprier


adjective spryer, spryest, sprier or spriest
  1. active and brisk; nimble
Derived Formsspryly, adverbspryness, noun

Word Origin for spry

C18: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect spragg sprig
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 sprier



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