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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Playful; frolicsome.
  • adj. Relating to or interested in sports.
  • adj. Archaic Amorous or wanton.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. gay; frolicsome; merry
  • adj. Playful, coltish.
  • adj. Interested in sport.
  • adj. Sporty, good at sport.
  • n. cyclosportive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tending to, engaged in, or provocative of, sport; gay; frolicsome; playful; merry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Inclined toward sport; fond of sport or amusement; frolicsome; playful.
  • Connected with amusement or sports; characterized by sport, mirth, or pleasantry.
  • Amorous; wanton.
  • In botany and zoology, tending to vary from the normal type. See sport, n., 8. Darwin, Var. of Animals and Plants, p. 407.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. given to merry frolicking
  • adj. relating to or interested in sports


From sport +‎ -ive. (Wiktionary)


  • It originated in sportive conversation at poor Lovell's, and we agreed each to produce an act by the next evening; – S.T.C. the first, I the second, and Lovell the third.


  • It takes its name from the frolicsome spirit supposed to be imparted by it to its imbibers, whose gambols remind the observant Teuton of those of the bock, or goat, a figure of which animal, engaged in sportive dalliance with a beer cask, is usually to be seen as a sign in places where this brewage is on tap.

    Lager Beer in New York

  • It originated in sportive conversation at poor Lovell's, and we agreed each to produce an act by the next evening; — S.T.C. the first, I the second, and Lovell the third.

    Coleridge & Southey Letters

  • In sentimental conversation, subjects interesting to the heart, and to the imagination, are brought forward; they are discussed in a kind of sportive way, with animation and refinement, and are never continued longer than politeness allows.

    A Sicilian Romance

  • Abbey of Thélème, -- a kind of sportive Brook Farm set far away in a world unrealized.

    Classic French Course in English

  • Examples of this kind of sportive irreverence are common enough; their root is in human nature: and they could not be absent in the mythology of savage or of ancient peoples.

    The Homeric Hymns A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological

  • William was a kind-hearted, "sportive" man, who took _Bell's Life_, and I can remember that there was a good supply of English reading in the house.


  • She had left a snuff-box of considerable value with me, which I had forgotten to return; and, with that kind of sportive cheerfulness which I rather encourage than repress, I called -- 'Here!

    Anna St. Ives

  • Just outside the mountain town of Vicdessos, the "Station Sports Nature de Montcalm" offers guided circuits graded in difficulty and suitable for children from seven years old (montcalm-aventure. com), though the Ariège's wildest Via Ferrata, described as "sportive" requires a four-hour trek up to the Refuge d'Estagnous (ariege. com / refuge-estagnous).

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • "sportive"; but it is singular that she should be spoken of as "well featured, but wanton."

    The Story of Pocahontas


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