sprightly \SPRYTE-lee\ adjective1 : marked by a cheerful lightnessand vivacity (as of movement or manner) : spirited 2 : having a distinctively piquant taste
Uncle Jack, a sprightly man nearing90, was an avid storyteller, and we all listened with rapt attention as he regaled us with his newest tale.
“The somber, pensive orchestralprelude to Act III was magnificent…. And Mr. Levine actually seemed to gain energy during the long finalscene in the meadow, with the sprightly country dances and celebratory marches.” — AnthonyTommasini, New York Times, December 3, 2014
Did you know?
Sprightly comes from spright, an archaic version of the word we now use for an elf or fairy: sprite. Arielfrom Shakespeare‘s The Tempestand the leprechaun of Irishmythology are often referred to as sprites, and it’s no coincidence thatboth are characterized by their light, flitting movements and mannerisms. Sprite derives via Middle English and Old French from the Latin spiritus, which of course gives us spirit as well. A similar-looking adjective thatcan describe someone who is nimbleand energetic is spry, but that word is believed to be of Scandinavian origin.