Definition of alacrity
- accepted the invitation with alacrity
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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
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alacrity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
: a quick and cheerful readiness to do something
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