co·​quette kō-ˈket How to pronounce coquette (audio)
plural coquettes
: a woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men
… the book brought to mind a true Southern coquette, flashy and sweet and alluring all at the same time. Tina Jordan
: any of several small, tropical American hummingbirds (genus Lophornis) with the males typically having a colorful or ornate tuft of feathers on the head
… the rufous-crested coquette, a tiny hummingbird (with a red mohawk "hair-do") that was just as … flirty as its name. Thelma Dalmas
But the tiniest of these hummers was the one that elicited the most excitement: a festive coquette, an extremely rare green-crested bird with a white rump patch, only 3 inches long. James F. McCarty
coquettish adjective
coquettishly adverb
coquettishness noun

Example Sentences

She was a bit of a coquette.
Recent Examples on the Web Her insistence that Christian woo her with wit isn’t a coquette’s trick of putting her beau through the ritualized paces of courtly love but a smart woman’s search for a partner, a worthy match. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 There's also the coquette community, an update from Tumblr's nymphette subculture, which prefers a rosy, doll-like blush. Glamour, 10 Mar. 2022 Some will, most won’t, some hurt, most don’t — and that’s true for everyone, even coquettes. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, 27 Aug. 2018 The rufous-crested coquette was a bit of a disappointment. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Cora Riley’s Sorel is a mirror image of her mom and a captivating coquette, while A.J. Sclafani’s Simon hurls lethal verbal volleys and flits about the room like an animated Peter Pan, alighting on the most unconventional locations. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, 16 Sep. 2019 My reaction to playing the coquette involves a middle something else. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, 27 Aug. 2018 Within a couple of months, Khloé and TTD were coquettes about town, making out in numerous cities and posting photos of their matching sets of diamond rings (his from a championship, hers from being Khloé effing Kardashian) on the ‘Gram. Mariah Smith, The Cut, 11 Apr. 2018 Sweet meets sour in the lemon meringue tart, which is fitting, given that the tart, ever the coquette, swings both sweet and sour. Leah Eskin,, 20 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coquette.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French, feminine of coquet — see coquet entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coquette was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near coquette

Cite this Entry

“Coquette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



co·​quette kō-ˈket How to pronounce coquette (audio)
: a woman who tries without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men : flirt
coquettish adjective
coquettishly adverb
coquettishness noun

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