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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ a racy underwear ad
▪ A rather racy novel, if the cover was anything to go by.
▪ Give the media and the public something racy and mysterious and it will sell.
▪ It's certainly not for the prissy of nature but then the original novel was also considered at the time rather racy.
▪ Pretty racy stuff for the era.
▪ Something racy is just around the corner.
▪ The film is about only a very brief sojourn in Gauguin's otherwise racy biography.
▪ The restraint of her expression belies the worldly rush of her life in New York and her racy reputation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Racy \Ra"cy\ (r[=a]"s[y^]), a. [Compar. Racier (r[=a]"s[i^]*[~e]r); superl. Raciest.] [From Race a tribe, family.]

  1. 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.

  2. 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 words.
    --M. Arnold.

    Burns'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.

  3. somewhat suggestive of sexual themes; slightly improper; risqu['e].

    Syn: Spicy; spirited; lively; smart; piquant; risqu["u].

    Usage: 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 to style, 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.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1650s, "having a characteristic taste" (of wines, fruits, etc.), from race (n.2) in its older sense of "flavor" or in the sense "class of wines" + -y (2); meaning "having a quality of vigor" (1660s) led to that of "improper, risqué," first recorded 1901, probably reinforced by phrase racy of the soil "earthy" (1870). Related: Racily; raciness.


a. 1 Having a strong flavor indicating origin; of distinct characteristic taste; tasting of the soil; hence, fresh; rich. 2 Hence: Exciting to the mental taste by a strong or distinctive character of thought or language; peculiar and piquant; fresh and lively. 3 Mildly risque, exciting.

  1. adj. full of zest or vigor; "a racy literary style" [syn: lively]

  2. suggestive of sexual impropriety; "a blue movie"; "blue jokes"; "he skips asterisks and gives you the gamy details"; "a juicy scandal"; "a naughty wink"; "naughty words"; "racy anecdotes"; "a risque story"; "spicy gossip" [syn: blue, gamy, gamey, juicy, naughty, risque, spicy]

  3. [also: raciest, racier]


Racy may refer to:

  • Racy, West Virginia
  • An unincorporated community in Chapin_Township,_Michigan
Racy (album)

Racy is the second studio album by American rock band Hooray for Earth. It was released in July 2014 under Dovecote Records.

Usage examples of "racy".

For fresh, racy and correct style, for clear perception and exquisite literary taste, it is one of the best books on the subject, as it one of the best books on any subject ever written by an American.

But the most interesting and racy character among our old Judges was Theron Metcalf.

A picture showed a long racy hull that scintillated against a background of stars.

From the clean, strong lines of his face down to the tips of his polished shoes, he exuded a racy, provocative aura.

Valparaiso to join a brother who died, than with her fresh and racy descriptions of four young Australian colonies.

Perhaps they had heard rumors about her racy past, or perhaps they just found her approachable.

Now she was content to remain almost silent while Adam talked--he was an amusing talker and she listened with pleasure to his racy comments about people he knew, but it was over too soon.

Morris 1000, a car which, while hardly noted for its breathtaking speed and racy lines, maintained a steady forty miles an hour and seldom gave her any trouble.

At the other end of the trail a mountain ash spread concealing arms over a narrow, racy cylinder of highly polished metal.

But she seemed to respect its privacy, so it became like a treehouse, a repository for all manner of boy debris: fossilized cowpies, rodent skulls, comic books, homemade weapons, rusted horseshoes, and probably, long after my last ascent, racy magazines.

That most charming mixture of dignified self respect, with unfailing gracious courtesy to others, those manners in which frankness and refinement mingled with and set off each other, that perfect purity of thought and utterance, and yet that thorough enjoyment of all that was good and racy in wit or humour - this has passed away with him.

Cut it in twain, and the product is enormous, far transcending any previous developments of our racy Territory.

Olivia waved her hairbrush at her twin to emphasize her point, as Victoria laughed, looking terribly racy as she sat with her long legs crossed on the edge of their huge tub, in one of the dresses Olivia had just bought them.

But the brightest, raciest, wittiest, liveliest, spunkiest of all the youths was Daniel Sargent Curtis, one of the race of that name so well known in Boston for excellence in various departments.

Irish sports and shoneen games the like of lawn tennis and about hurley and putting the stone and racy of the soil and building up a nation once again and all to that.