sprier or spryer ˈsprī(-ə)r How to pronounce spry (audio) ; spriest or spryest ˈsprī-əst How to pronounce spry (audio)
: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly : nimble sense 1
used especially to describe an older person
a spry 75-year-old
… his spry libidinous grandfather …Stanley Kauffmann
Matthew is getting up in years, you know—he's sixty—and he isn't so spry as he once was.Charles Keller
spryly adverb
… hopping spryly onto a treadmill. Heather King
Then there's his trumpet playing, which he still does spryly at the age of 82, with its dusty allure intact. Giovanni Russonello
spryness noun
… he still has a boyish spryness although he's in his late forties. Adam Mars-Jones

Examples of spry in a Sentence

an older woman who's still surprisingly spry
Recent Examples on the Web At one point, Aang runs into Bumi (Utkarsh Ambudkar, under a lot of old age makeup), a boyhood friend who is somehow still alive (and reasonably spry) 10 decades later. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 22 Feb. 2024 Unfortunately, its impression of a spry sedan isn't as convincing. Frank Markus, Car and Driver, 31 Aug. 2023 Particularly in Israel, where Palestinian succession has been a topic of concern ever since Mr. Abbas was elected president at the spry age of 70. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Aug. 2023 This is the smallest commuter in the Hyundai lineup, but the Accent is still spry enough to squawk the tires. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 23 Apr. 2021 Gone is the spry young guy who jokes about his continued sobriety. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 1 May 2023 Tartt was sidelined for nine months with a turf toe injury that required surgery, but he’s looked surprisingly spry since his unexpected return to practice Aug. 25. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 But beneath the basic Sinema-ness of her exit—the faintly lunar atmosphere of self-actualization combined with spry political opportunism—there is a political mystery here. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2022 Director Michael Rothhaar, who staged the once-scandalous 1893 play for the company in 1991, has imbued this new version with assured actors who interweave comedy and drama at a spry pace. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1746, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spry was in 1746

Dictionary Entries Near spry

Cite this Entry

“Spry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spry. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


sprier or spryer ˈsprī(-ə)r How to pronounce spry (audio) ; spriest or spryest ˈsprī-əst How to pronounce spry (audio)
: light and easy in motion : nimble, sprightly
a spry 75-year-old
spryly adverb
spryness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on spry

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