Simple Definition of alacrity
: a quick and cheerful readiness to do something
Examples of alacrity in a sentence
Surely one of the most striking features of human dynamics is the alacrity with which those who have been oppressed will oppress whomever they can once the opportunity presents itself. —Randall Kennedy, Atlantic, May 1997
Every Disney worker I spoke to, from ticket sellers to gardeners sprucing up already-immaculate flower beds, knew the answer to my questions and responded with smiling alacrity. —Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, 22 June 1990
… when he entered the drawing room before dinner, the buzz of discussion was high between Tom, Maria, and Mr. Yates; and Mr. Rushworth stepped forward with great alacrity to tell him the agreeable news. —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814
She accepted the invitation with an alacrity that surprised me.
<having just acquired his driver's license that morning, the teen agreed with alacrity to drive his cousin to the airport>
Did You Know?
I have not that alacrity of spirit / Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have, says Shakespeare’s King Richard III in the play that bears his name. When Shakespeare penned those words some 400 years ago, "alacrity" was less than a hundred years old. Our English word derives from the Latin word alacer, which means "lively." It denotes physical quickness coupled with eagerness or enthusiasm. Are there any other words in English from Latin alacer? Yes - "allegro," which is used as a direction in music with the meaning "at a brisk lively tempo." It came to us via Italian (where it can mean "merry") and is assumed to be ultimately from "alacer."
Origin of alacrity
Latin alacritas, from alacr-, alacer lively, eager
First Known Use: 15th century
ALACRITY Defined for Kids
Definition of alacrity for Students
: a cheerful readiness to do something <He accepted the challenge with alacrity.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up alacrity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).