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See also: Spry



From British dialectal sprey, from Old Norse sprækr (nimble, lively) from Proto-Germanic *sprēkiz (lively), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pereg- (to strew, jerk, sprinkle, scatter). Cognate with Icelandic sprækur (lively, spry), Norwegian sprek (lively, healthy), dialectal Swedish sprygg (brisk, very active, skittish). More at spark. Related to sprack, sprig, sprug, freckle.


  • IPA(key): /spɹaɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ


spry (comparative sprier, superlative spriest)

  1. Having great power of leaping or running; nimble; active.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      What follows is a bunch of nonstop goofery involving chase sequences, dream sequences, fast-changing costumes and an improbable beard, a little musical help from Flight Of The Conchords, and ultimately a very physical confrontation with a surprisingly spry Victoria.
  2. Vigorous; lively; cheerful.
    • 1992, Robert Rankin, The Antipope (page 68)
      The Captain folded his brow into a look of intense perplexity. 'You seem exceedingly spry for a man who demolished an entire bottle of brandy and better part of an ounce of shag in a single evening.'
      'And very nice too,' said the tramp. 'Now as to breakfast?'