sprite

noun \ ˈsprīt \
|Updated on: 29 Jun 2018

Definition of sprite

plural sprites
1 a archaic : soul
b : a disembodied spirit : ghost
2 a : 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

Examples of sprite in a Sentence

  1. the child insisted that he'd seen a sprite hiding in the garden

  2. told hair-raising stories of sprites and spectral ships

Recent Examples of sprite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sprite

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

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


SPRITE Defined for English Language Learners

sprite

Definition of sprite for English Language Learners

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


SPRITE Defined for Kids

sprite

noun \ ˈsprīt \

Definition of sprite for Students

: elf, fairy


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