\ ˈsprīt How to pronounce sprite (audio) \
plural sprites

Definition of sprite

1a : elf, fairy
b : an elfish person
2a : a disembodied spirit : ghost
b archaic : soul
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

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 Proksch’s character, Colin Robinson, got a shoutout on the drink menu, with a Baby Colin Robinson (sprite and grenadine) providing a non-alcoholic option. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 July 2022 The sprite for the baby-sized Jr. Pac-Man has been similarly changed to remove the trademark red bow that was first seen in 1983's Jr. Pac-Man. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 8 Apr. 2022 It's made up of all the staple ingredients of a classic Shirley Temple — sprite, grenadine and a signature maraschino cherry — but spiked with vodka. Antonia Debianchi, PEOPLE.com, 13 May 2022 An animated sprite introduces the instruments of the orchestra in a film in concert performance. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 19 Apr. 2022 While one game in the collection hinges on death and the afterlife in a slightly morose way, and another includes black-and-white, small-sprite samurai combat (and is awesome), this content is fine for anyone 12 and up. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 18 Apr. 2022 Ashley Laracey, in a debut, showed glimpses of real command, offering a sprite-like buoyancy in her balances and arabesques. New York Times, 28 Jan. 2022 Most rational people know that the odds of that perfect meteorological cocktail—temps in the low 50s, dry, a tailwind that magically follows you around like a forest sprite—are fairly slim. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 6 Oct. 2021 Though it was only supposed to fly a handful of times, the sprite of a chopper has kept going, to the delight of NASA engineers. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of sprite

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

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

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

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sprite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprite. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sprite


\ ˈsprīt How to pronounce sprite (audio) \

Kids Definition of sprite

: elf, fairy

More from Merriam-Webster on sprite

Nglish: Translation of sprite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sprite for Arabic Speakers


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