adjective, spright·li·er, spright·li·est.

animated or vivacious; lively.


in a sprightly manner.

Origin of sprightly

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

Synonyms for sprightly

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

Examples from the Web for sprightly

Contemporary Examples of sprightly

Historical Examples of sprightly

  • 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

full of vitality; lively


obsolete in a lively manner
Derived Formssprightliness, noun

Word Origin for sprightly

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper