Etymology
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vivacity (n.)
early 15c., "liveliness, vigor," from Old French vivacite or directly from Latin vivacitatem (nominative vivacitas) "vital force, liveliness," from vivax (genitive vivacis) "lively," also "long-lived," from vivere "to live" (see vital).
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spiritless (adj.)
1560s, "dead," from spirit (n.) + -less. Meaning "having no vigor or vivacity" is from 1650s. Related: Spiritlessly.
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elan (n.)
"vivacity," 1877, from French élan (16c.), "spring, bound, impetus," noun derived from élancer "to shoot, incite" (trans.); "rush forward, dart" (intrans.), from Old French elancer, from e- "out" (see ex-) + lancer "to throw," originally "to throw a lance," from Late Latin lanceare, from Latin lancea (see lance (n.)).
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brio (n.)

"liveliness, vivacity," 1734, from Italian brio "mettle, fire, life," perhaps a shortened derivative of Latin ebrius "drunk." Or via Provençal briu "vigor," from Celtic *brig-o- "strength," from PIE root *gwere- (1) "heavy." Probably it entered English via the musical instruction con brio.

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inanimate (adj.)

early 15c., "without vital force, having lost life," from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The Latin word closest corresponding in form and sense is inanimalis. Meaning "lacking vivacity, without spirit, dull" is from 1734. Inanimate as a verb meant "infuse with life or vigor" (17c.), from the other in- (see in- (2)).

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esprit (n.)

1590s, "liveliness, wit, vivacity," from French esprit "spirit, mind," from Old French espirit "spirit, soul" (12c.), from Latin spiritus "spirit" (see spirit (n.)). For initial e-, see e-.

Esprit de corps, recorded from 1780 in English, preserves the usual French sense. French also has the excellent phrase esprit de l'escalier, literally "spirit of the staircase," defined in OED as, "a retort or remark that occurs to a person after the opportunity to make it has passed." It also has esprit fort, a "strong-minded" person, one independent of current prejudices, especially a freethinker in religion.

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