Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
March 4th, 2015
Episode 125 of 689 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 04, 2015 is: sprightly \SPRYTE-lee\ adjective 1 : marked by a cheerful lightness and vivacity (as of movement or manner) : spirited 2 : having a distinctively piquant taste Examples: Uncle Jack, a sprightly man nearing 90, was an avid storyteller, and we all listened with rapt attention as he regaled us with his newest tale. "The somber, pensive orchestral prelude to Act III was magnificent. And Mr. Levine actually seemed to gain energy during the long final scene in the meadow, with the sprightly country dances and celebratory marches." Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, December 3, 2014 Did you know? Sprightly comes from spright, an archaic version of the word we now use for an elf or fairy: sprite. Ariel from Shakespeare's The Tempest and the leprechaun of Irish mythology are often referred to as sprites, and it's no coincidence that both are characterized by their light, flitting movements and mannerisms. Sprite derives via Middle English and Old French from the Latin spiritus, which of course gives us spirit as well. A similar-looking adjective that can describe someone who is nimble and energetic is spry, but that word is believed to be of Scandinavian origin.
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.