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See more synonyms for sprightly on Thesaurus.com
adjective, spright·li·er, spright·li·est.
  1. animated or vivacious; lively.
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  1. in a sprightly manner.
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Origin of sprightly

1590–1600; spright (spelling variant of sprite) + -ly
Related formsspright·li·ness, nounun·spright·ly, adjective, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cheerful, energetic, spry, zippy, agile, peppy, playful, bouncy, lively, jaunty, chirpy, active, airy, alert, animate, animated, blithe, breezy, bright, brisk

Examples from the Web for sprightly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Let them be sprightly, and, if possible, have a snapper at the end.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • Here's a sprightly subject: What are you going to do, Mr. Kirkwood?

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • But, for example, the sprightly little woman was very sure of it, she said.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • "I drink to the offspring of monsieur and madame," quoth he in a sprightly tone.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • Her words were sprightly enough, but her face had clouded over.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for sprightly


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. full of vitality; lively
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  1. obsolete in a lively manner
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Derived Formssprightliness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from spright, variant of sprite + -ly 1
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 sprightly


1590s, from spright, early 16c. variant of sprite, + -ly (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper