from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having or showing courage and spirit in trying circumstances. synonym: brave.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Possessing pluck, or spirit and courage; spirited; courageous.
  • In photography, clear and bright: said of a negative or print. Gelatinobromide papers for contact-printing are so designated.
  • Capable of being plucked; fracturing easily along certain planes: as, a plucky rock. See plucking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having pluck or courage; characterized by pluck; displaying pluck; courageous; spirited.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having or showing pluck, courage or spirit in trying circumstances.

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

  • adjective marked by courage and determination in the face of difficulties or danger; robust and uninhibited
  • adjective showing courage


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • From the New York Times: It is the time of year when bedtime stories and television specials often recall the plucky reindeer and the little girl of Whoville who managed to save Christmas.

    December 2005 2005

  • It's been suggested that the plucky -- and it's almost always described as plucky --

    World Hum 2009

  • And eep -- Talia is many things, but "plucky" has never been one of them :

    Writing About Rape, Part II jimhines 2010

  • You have to be pretty creative and energetic -- you have to be quite kind of plucky, to a certain extent.

    Toby Young Can't Resist One More Prank at Soho House 2008

  • And hours after he spoke, the Sox won the first of three elimination games in a row to win the AL Central and the team went from the doldrums to the heights of a "no one's expecting us to win" kind of plucky underdog.

    Jon Greenberg: Big-Game Hunter 2008

  • I'm actually old enough to remember the 1967 Six Day War, and was young enough then to be enthralled by the drama, and by the sheer panache of the "plucky" Israelis as they prevailed against all the odds.

    Reaching the limits Richard 2006

  • The character would try to cover it in rather pathetic 'plucky' attempts; while I on the other hand have skull kleenex, and I bet you wish you had some too – take that Laura Wilder!

    My haul of Halloween skull stuff and a lot of screaming Elizabeth McClung 2007

  • The character would try to cover it in rather pathetic 'plucky' attempts; while I on the other hand have skull kleenex, and I bet you wish you had some too – take that Laura Wilder!

    Archive 2007-11-01 Elizabeth McClung 2007

  • A deranged angry woman disrupting a meeting is "plucky" and "stands up for herself".

    If "every campaign is... a narrative," what's Hillary Clinton's narrative? Ann Althouse 2007

  • For Pullman fans, this kind of plucky self-confidence must sound familiar: it's Lyra Belaqua, the novel's crafty protagonist, who travels from Oxford to the Arctic Circle -- aided by armored bears, flying witches and a truth-telling compass that only she can read -- to rescue her kidnapped best friend.

    The Arctic Adventurer 2007


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  • You got lucky, you ain't talking to me now

    Little Miss Plucky

    Pluck your eyebrows for the crowd

    Get on the airplane

    You give me stomach pain

    I wish that you were here

    We would have had a lot to talk about.

    (Dressed up in you, by Belle and Sebastian)

    February 28, 2009