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cur·​li·​cue ˈkər-lē-ˌkyü How to pronounce curlicue (audio)
variants or less commonly curlycue
: a fancifully curved or spiral figure : flourish


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curlicued; curlicuing

transitive verb

: to embellish with curlicues

Examples of curlicue in a Sentence

Noun Curlicues were carved into the wood.
Recent Examples on the Web
But those were lost in Biden’s curlicue responses and halting verbal shuffle. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2024 Start with little circles, scattered across every point in space and time—a curlicue dimension, looped back onto itself. Adam Becker, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022
Outside, winding paths through gardens and woods lead to site-specific installations, like Eleven Minute Line, a land-art piece by Maya Lin that curlicues through a field of cows. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 24 June 2023 The cutwork curlicues, stars, and trees on the border of this runner definitely deliver the wow factor. Sarah Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Apr. 2023 See all Example Sentences for curlicue 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'curlicue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



curly + cue a braid of hair

First Known Use


1843, in the meaning defined above


1844, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of curlicue was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near curlicue

Cite this Entry

“Curlicue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also curlycue
: a fancifully curved or spiral figure (as a flourish in handwriting)

More from Merriam-Webster on curlicue

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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