Definition of spry in English:



  • (especially of an old person) active; lively.

    ‘he continued to look spry and active well into his eighties’
    • ‘These days, spry and tan at 76, he lives in Brussels, where he runs a committee that is drawing up a pan-European constitution, but he still likes to talk up the ancestral homeland.’
    • ‘We are in the Museum Gardens, and the spry 79-year-old is giving me the official guided tour of York.’
    • ‘She is so spry, alert, and enthusiastic that it is difficult to imagine you are talking to a woman in her sixties.’
    • ‘My hostess is a spry 81-year-old sporting a perilous arrangement of blue-tinted hair which hints at her past as proprietor of a West End salon called Lilian's.’
    • ‘A spry veteran in grey uniform emerged from the shadows, grabbed his rifle and we squeezed in together.’
    • ‘The Hay diet - actually more a way of eating than a diet in the accepted sense - is still having its praises sung by spry 95-year-olds with amazing skin.’
    • ‘He'd even led me up a flight of stairs, singing a little ditty, seemingly spry and agile and as dapper as any day in his six decades as an entertainer.’
    • ‘Amongst the cast is 84-year-old choreography legend Merce Cunningham - playing the part of Sate - living proof, if it were needed, that a lifetime in dance helps keep you spry.’
    • ‘A small, spry woman of about sixty, she works as a home care nurse.’
    • ‘Flew is a spry 81, sitting in the living room of his Reading home proclaiming he is ‘willing and eager ‘to explain himself.’’
    • ‘On through the forest I strolled, passing a group of spry elderly women with yellow bags and hemp sandals.’
    • ‘A spry and quick-witted woman that, although in her mid-fifties, still didn't act a day over twenty-five, she had been, and always would be, the person that I truly looked up to the most.’
    • ‘He is aged 77 and looking very spry with it, I must say.’
    • ‘A revealing interview with The Scientist, simply titled ‘Ernst Mayr, Darwin's Disciple,’ shows how spry he continues to be at age 99.’
    • ‘At 52, Moore is still a spry, spunky performer giving all manner of well-rehearsed guitar hero poses.’
    • ‘The spry, sparky gent returned to his native Istanbul after a stint in the mid-1990s as director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies Museum at Bard College.’
    • ‘There are times when he seems like a spry elderly relative, animated by the prospect of telling old stories to a fresh audience.’
    • ‘Mrs Rendell, who has been a widow for 50 years, is still spry and active, despite a recent leg problem caused by a fall.’
    • ‘James Henry Clark is pretty spry for a man whose caddie career began in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and has spanned eight decades.’
    • ‘Stooped but spry, he has the look of a mischievous garden gnome.’
    sprightly, lively, energetic, active, full of life, full of energy, vigorous, spirited, animated, vivacious, playful, jaunty, perky, frisky, agile, nimble
    chipper, sparkly, zippy, zappy, full of vim and vigour, full of beans
    peppy, peart
    frolicsome, sportive, as lively as a grig
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: of unknown origin.