\ˈsprīt \
plural sprites

Definition of sprite 

1a archaic : soul

b : a disembodied spirit : ghost

2a : elf, fairy

b : an elfish person

3 : a form of electrical discharge that sometimes is emitted upwards from the top of a cumulonimbus cloud during a thunderstorm at the same time that lightning strikes downward and that usually appears as a red or reddish-orange flash of light Atmospheric scientist Walter Lyons and his colleagues … noticed unusual behavior in storms over the plains: They triggered huge numbers of "sprites"—ghostly red glows of excited nitrogen molecules often seen high above violent storms.— Robert Irion

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Examples of sprite in a Sentence

the child insisted that he'd seen a sprite hiding in the garden told hair-raising stories of sprites and spectral ships

Recent Examples on the Web

Known for its fluid animation, it's often cited as one of the best animated sprite games ever. Aurich Lawson, Ars Technica, "Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection," 29 May 2018 Join other young fairies in costume (or not) as the San Diego Botanic Garden fills with mythical little sprites flitting through the Eucalyptus Grove. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top weekend events: Vans Warped Tour, San Diego International Fringe Festival, 'Avenue Q'," 22 June 2018 Stir in the bourbon and mead, add ice, and finish with sprite. Cincinnati.com, "Keep it simple on Father's Day. Make dad this bourbon drink," 15 June 2018 The first tutu was worn in 1832 by the great dancer, Marie Taglioni, for her leading role in La Sylphide — a ballet about weightless, winged, air sprites. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Carrie Bradshaw’s Tutu Paradox," 1 June 2018 That allows for effects such as full-motion video and other complex animations that wouldn't be possible using the usual sprite-and-background model. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hacker gets Super NES games running on unmodified NES," 30 May 2018 As told by Grave's brushes, pampered plots are populated by playful sprites, powerful roots, bursting blossoms and bitty crawling creatures. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Fall into 'A Big Garden': Detailed illustrations, poetic prose (photos)," 18 May 2018 Enter the serenely smiling Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a twentysomething sprite of a woman who arrives at the house each evening, takes firm hold of the baby and sends Marlo off to bed, waking her only for nighttime feedings. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis breathe the miracle of life into the dark motherhood story of 'Tully'," 3 May 2018 There's a silly delight in watching Ariel the sprite bollix up his master's enemies and a solemn joy in the wedding masque prepared for the young lovers, Miranda and Ferdinand. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "Aaron Posner and Teller’s Macbeth is no Tempest," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sprite.' 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 sprite

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sprite

Middle English sprit, from Anglo-French espriz, espirit spirit, sprite — more at spirit

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Time Traveler for sprite

The first known use of sprite was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of sprite

in stories : a small creature that has magical powers : an elf or fairy


\ˈsprīt \

Kids Definition of sprite

: elf, fairy

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Comments on sprite

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