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Mid-15th century; from Middle English alacrite, from Latin alacritās, from alacer (brisk) + -itās (-ity).[1]


  • (UK, US) enPR: ə-lă'crĭ-tē, IPA(key): [əˈlækɹɨti]
  • (file)


alacrity (countable and uncountable, plural alacrities)

  1. Eagerness; liveliness; enthusiasm.
    Synonyms: avidity, eagerness, enthusiasm, willingness
    Antonyms: apathy, disinclination, hesitance, indifference, reluctance
    • 1553 (posth.), Thomas More, A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, Book I, Chapter 19:
      Besides, a wealthy man, well at ease, may pray to God quietly and merrily with alacrity and great quietness of mind, whereas he who lieth groaning in his grief cannot endure to pray nor can he hardly think upon anything but his pain.
    • c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene iii]:
      I have not that alacrity of spirit / Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.
    • 1836 March – 1837 October, Charles Dickens, chapter XII, in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      "I'll get into the clothes this minute, if they're here," said Sam, with great alacrity.
    • 1920, Edward Arlington Robinson, “Tasker Norcross”, in The Three Taverns:
      You have an overgrown alacrity
      For saying nothing much and hearing less []
    • 1922, Edith Wharton, chapter 24, in The Glimpses of the Moon:
      This evening, however, he was struck by the beaming alacrity of the aide-de-camp's greeting.
  2. Promptness; speed.
    Synonyms: briskness, celerity, haste, promptness, quickness, swiftness

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024), “alacrity”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.