The term sprite is a broad term referring to a number of monstrous creatures. The term is generally used in reference fairies, like elves or dwarves, and the likes of it; but can also signify various monstrous beings, including ghosts.
The term is chiefly used in regard to elves and fairies in European folklore, and in modern English is rarely used in reference to spirits or other mythical creatures.
The word "sprite" is derived from the Latin "spiritus" (spirit). Variations on the term include "spright" (the origin of the adjective "sprightly", meaning "spirited" or "lively") and the Celtic "spriggan".
In some elemental magics, the sprite is believed to be the Elemental of air.
The belief in diminutive beings such as elves, fairies, pixies, gnomes, Japanese Yoka and various Slavic fairies has been common in many parts of the world, and might to some extent still be found within Neo- spiritual and religious movements such as "Druidry" and Ásatrú. The belief in spiritual beings, particularly ghosts, is almost universal to human culture.
Famous fictional sprites include Shakespeare's Ariel and Puck
Sprites in Popular Culture
- In Power Rangers Mystic Force, the Pink Ranger turns into the Sprite Titan. This is based upon MagiFairy, the Majin form of MagiPink in Mahō Sentai Magiranger
- Shadowcat, a character from the X-Men comic books.
- In the Artemis Fowl series of books, Chix Verbil is a sprite that is wounded and rendered unable to fly by that injury, a bullet to the left wing.