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high-spirited (comparative more high-spirited, superlative most high-spirited)

  1. Possessing a bold nature.
    • 1816, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 2, in The Black Dwarf:
      The more high-spirited among the youth were, about the time that our narrative begins, expecting, rather with hope than apprehension, an opportunity of emulating their fathers in their military achievements.
    • 1918, Jack London, "The Princess":
      "She was as fine a figure of a woman as I was a man, as high-spirited and courageous, as reckless and dare-devilish."
  2. Energetic, exuberant, or high-strung.
    • 1861, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, chapter 1, in Ultor De Lacy: A Legend of Cappercullen:
      Their poor mother was, I believe, naturally a lighthearted, sociable, high-spirited little creature; and her gay and childish nature pined in the isolation and gloom of her lot.
    • 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Offshore Pirate":
      Though she was nineteen she gave the effect of a high-spirited precocious child, and in the present glow of her youth and beauty all the men and women she had known were but driftwood on the ripples of her temperament.
    • 1950 Sept. 25, "Music: Out of the Corner," Time:
      Last week a group of four high-spirited folksters known as the Weavers had succeeded in shouting, twanging and crooning folk singing out of its cloistered corner.