alacrity

noun
alac·ri·ty | \ ə-ˈla-krə-tē \

Definition of alacrity 

: promptness in response : cheerful readiness accepted the invitation with alacrity

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Other words from alacrity

alacritous \-krə-təs \ adjective

alacrity Predates Shakespeare

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."

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

While Congress moves with its typical alacrity, families continue to be dumped at the McAllen bus station. Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Policy Sows Confusion and Anxiety Across the Mexican Border," 28 June 2018 Keeping up with the volcanic saxophonist could not have been an easy task, but Weiss did it with alacrity. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Pianist Michael Weiss evokes memories of Johnny Griffin," 22 June 2018 Gevers blamed the delays on the Breitmans and the media, but concluded that the foundation was now prepared to move forward with alacrity. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Then this year, the rhetoric had cooled significantly and Kim had made an extraordinary offer to meet with Trump, an invitation the president accepted with startling alacrity. Washington Post, "Traveling with Pompeo on secret mission to North Korea," 14 May 2018 Then this year, the rhetoric had cooled significantly and Kim had made an extraordinary offer to meet with Trump, an invitation the president accepted with startling alacrity. Washington Post, "Traveling with Pompeo on secret mission to North Korea," 14 May 2018 That means its thrust-to-weight ratio is relatively high, so when the pilot pushes the throttle forward from idle to full thrust the plane accelerates with unusual alacrity. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "An Illusion Made FlyDubai Pilots Crash Their Plane Into the Ground," 25 Apr. 2016 Routinely shifting points of view, Offutt accesses feelings and tones within tense and complicated moments with playful alacrity. New York Times, "A Novel of Kentucky Noir, So Humane It’s Bathed in Light," 23 May 2018 Then this year, the rhetoric had cooled significantly and Kim had made an extraordinary offer to meet with Trump, an invitation the president accepted with startling alacrity. Washington Post, "Traveling with Pompeo on secret mission to North Korea," 14 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of alacrity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alacrity

Latin alacritas, from alacr-, alacer lively, eager

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Time Traveler for alacrity

The first known use of alacrity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for alacrity

alacrity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alacrity

: a quick and cheerful readiness to do something

alacrity

noun
alac·ri·ty | \ ə-ˈla-krə-tē \

Kids Definition of alacrity

: a cheerful readiness to do something He accepted the challenge with alacrity.

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More from Merriam-Webster on alacrity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alacrity

Spanish Central: Translation of alacrity

Nglish: Translation of alacrity for Spanish Speakers

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