Ra"cy (?), a. [Compar. Racier (?); superl. Raciest.] [From Race a tribe, family.]


Having a strong flavor indicating origin; of distinct characteristic taste; tasting of the soil; hence, fresh; rich.

The racy wine, Late from the mellowing cask restored to light. Pope.


Hence: Exciting to the mental taste by a strong or distinctive character of thought or language; peculiar and piquant; fresh and lively.

Our raciest, most idiomatic popular word. M. Arnold.

Burn's English, though not so racy as his Scotch, is generally correct. H. Coleridge.

The rich and racy humor of a natural converser fresh from the plow. Prof. Wilson.

Syn. -- Spicy; spirited; lively; smart; piquant. -- Racy, Spicy. Racy refers primarily to that peculiar flavor which certain wines are supposed to derive from the soil in which the grapes were grown; and hence we call a style or production racy when it "smacks of the soil," or has an uncommon degree of natural freshness and distinctiveness of thought and language. Spicy, when applied, has reference to a spirit and pungency added by art, seasoning the matter like a condiment. It does not, like racy, suggest native peculiarity. A spicy article in a magazine; a spicy retort. Racy in conversation; a racy remark.

Rich, racy verses, in which we The soil from which they come, taste, smell, and see. Cowley.


© Webster 1913.