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 spryness

Historical Examples of spryness

  • When there was anything in the line of cooking going on, he could show an astonishing amount of spryness for a fellow so stout.

  • She flashed just the trace of a smile; gathering her skirt she ran on, undeterred by the teamsters applauding her spryness.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • Bob Buckham wouldn't never have owned the place and stacked up the few dollars he has in bank, if it hadn't been for her spryness.

  • Get some spryness into your feet if you want to be like your father, and run, now, to see Moike loight the fire.

British Dictionary definitions for spryness


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 spryness



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