le·​ger·​i·​ty | \ lə-ˈjer-ə-tē How to pronounce legerity (audio) , le-, -ˈje-rə- \

Definition of legerity

: alert facile quickness of mind or body

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When legerity first appeared in English in the 1500s, it drew significantly upon the concept of being "light on one's feet," and appropriately so. It is derived from the Middle and Old French legereté ("lightness"), which was formed from the Old French adjective leger ("light in weight"). Leger comes from an assumed Vulgar Latin adjective, leviarius, a descendent of the older Latin levis ("having little weight"). These days, legerity can describe a nimbleness of mind as well as of the feet. A cousin of legerity in English is legerdemain, meaning "sleight of hand" or "a display of skill or adroitness." Legerdemain comes from the French phrase leger de main, meaning "light of hand."

First Known Use of legerity

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for legerity

Middle French legereté, from Old French, lightness, from leger light, from Vulgar Latin *leviarius, from Latin levis — more at light

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The first known use of legerity was in 1590

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leger line

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Cite this Entry

“Legerity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legerity. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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