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vivac(ious) +‎ -ity, borrowed from Latin vīvācitās.


  • IPA(key): /vɪˈvæsɪti/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: vi‧va‧ci‧ty


vivacity (countable and uncountable, plural vivacities)

  1. The quality or state of being vivacious.
    • 1612, Francis Bacon, “Of Youth and Age”, in Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral[1]:
      But reposed natures may do well in youth. [] On the other side, heat and vivacity in age, is an excellent composition for business.
    • 1738, David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I, Part I, Section III. Of the Ideas of the Memory and the Imagination,[2]
      We find by experience, that when any impression has been present with the mind, it again makes its appearance there as an idea; and this it may do after two different ways: either when in its new appearance it retains a considerable degree of its first vivacity, and is somewhat intermediate betwixt an impression and an idea: or when it entirely loses that vivacity, and is a perfect idea.
    • 1766, Oliver Goldsmith, chapter 1, in The Vicar of Wakefield[3]:
      The one entertained me with her vivacity when I was gay, the other with her sense when I was serious.
    • 1791 (date written), Mary Wollstonecraft, chapter 2, in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, 1st American edition, Boston, Mass.: [] Peter Edes for Thomas and Andrews, [], published 1792, →OCLC:
      In the name of truth and common sense, why should not one woman acknowledge that she can take more exercise than another? or, in other words, that she has a sound constitution; and why to damp innocent vivacity, is she darkly to be told, that men will draw conclusions which she little thinks of?
    • 1819, Walter Scott, chapter 5, in The Bride of Lammermoor[4]:
      Some secret sorrow, or the brooding spirit of some moody passion, had quenched the light and ingenuous vivacity of youth in a countenance singularly fitted to display both []
    • 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 2, in Anne of Green Gables[5]:
      [] an extraordinary observer might have seen that the chin was very pointed and pronounced; that the big eyes were full of spirit and vivacity; that the mouth was sweet-lipped and expressive; that the forehead was broad and full; in short, our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child []