es·​prit | \ i-ˈsprē How to pronounce esprit (audio) \

Definition of esprit

1 : vivacious cleverness or wit

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of esprit in a Sentence

the dance company has an infectious esprit that captivates audiences

Recent Examples on the Web

College deans wanted to establish the same esprit-de-corps within houses as could be found in an exclusive fraternity, but that required engineering. Carla Yanni, Smithsonian, "How College Dorms Evolved to Fit America’s Gender and Racial Politics," 6 Sep. 2019 But Edin Dzeko Goal - AS Roma vs Barcelona 1-0 via -- esprit-foot (@esprit_foot) April 10, 2018 Pregame information: Barcelona beat Roma 4-1 at home in the first leg of the series. Jamie Goldberg,, "Roma ousts Barcelona in UEFA Champions League: Highlights, live updates recap," 10 Apr. 2018 Wait — months later, that’s her big comeback, her esprit d’escalier? Kyle Smith, National Review, "Hillary Excuse No. 1,756: Trump Stood Too Close to Me," 28 Aug. 2017 Staff members lawyer up and develop protective moats around themselves, undermining the esprit de corps essential for doing a high-pressure job well, James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump White House might learn more from studying Whitewater than Watergate as Comey testifies," 8 June 2017 Mr. Trump seemed more at ease in Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by a hereditary royal family, than in Europe, where he was faced with the youthful esprit of leaders like France’s 39-year-old president, Emmanuel Macron. Mark Landler And Michael D. Shear, New York Times, "Mild in Mideast, Trump Is All Elbows in a Europe Eager to Jab Back," 26 May 2017 Staff members lawyer up and develop protective moats around themselves, undermining the esprit de corps essential for doing a high-pressure job well. Russell Riley, The Atlantic, "The Punishing Reality of White House Investigations," 22 May 2017 Now realtors are touting proximity to the Cyber Command as a selling point for houses, while local residents hope permanent placement will boost the local economy, and perhaps even infuse the town with high-tech esprit. Kevin Poulsen, WIRED, "The Battle for the Cyber Command," 11 Feb. 2008 Snarky comments made about other unlikely alliances, however, often bespeak a callousness or a lack of esprit. Henry Alford, New York Times, "Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall? The Fascination of Odd Couples," 1 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'esprit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of esprit

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for esprit

French, from Old French espirit, Latin spiritus spirit

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about esprit

Statistics for esprit

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for esprit

The first known use of esprit was in 1573

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on esprit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with esprit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for esprit

Comments on esprit

What made you want to look up esprit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!