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[sprahy] /spraɪ/
adjective, spryer, spryest or sprier, spriest.
active; nimble; agile; energetic; brisk.
Origin of spry
1740-50; origin uncertain
Related forms
spryly, adverb
spryness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spryness
Historical Examples
  • Get some spryness into your feet if you want to be like your father, and run, now, to see Moike loight the fire.

    The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys Gulielma Zollinger
  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for spryness


adjective spryer, spryest, sprier, spriest
active and brisk; nimble
Derived Forms
spryly, adverb
spryness, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect spraggsprig
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
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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
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