adjective, spry·er, spry·est or spri·er, spri·est.

active; nimble; agile; energetic; brisk.

Origin of spry

First recorded in 1740–50; origin uncertain
Related formsspry·ly, adverbspry·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spry

Contemporary Examples of spry

Historical Examples of spry

  • He was old and snowy haired, but as fresh as a daisy and as spry as a cricket.

    Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts

    Roy Rutherford Bailey

  • We have to be spry about these things if we ever intend to get wedded at all.

  • Little Thunder was too spry to be caught by even a pursuing bullet.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • He's that spry and full of jokes and he's gettin' right spoony.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • I finds him walkin' around the grounds as spry as a two-year-old.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for spry


adjective spryer, spryest, sprier or spriest

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 spry

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