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Word of the Day : January 3, 2016

alacrity

play
noun uh-LAK-ruh-tee

Definition

: promptness in response : cheerful readiness

Examples

Jane is passionate about her job and performs her duties with enthusiasm and alacrity.

"The second grader was there to get an anti-cavity sealant put on her six year molars, and she was comporting herself with an alacrity many adults don't share in a dental chair." — William Porter, The Denver Post, 8 Nov. 2015



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, over 400 years ago, alacrity was at least 137 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 ultimately from alacer.

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day is related to the Greek and Latin word for diamond, adamas, and can describe something resembling a diamond or someone or something that is unyielding?

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