cur·​li·​cue | \ ˈkər-lē-ˌkyü How to pronounce curlicue (audio) , -li-\
variants: or less commonly curlycue

Definition of curlicue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a fancifully curved or spiral figure : flourish


curlicued; curlicuing

Definition of curlicue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to embellish with curlicues

Examples of curlicue in a Sentence


Curlicues were carved into the wood.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Serebrennikov, working with cinematographer Vladislav Opelyants, peers at this world through a veil of black-and-white nostalgia, tinted by occasional warm bursts of color and music video-style graphic curlicues. Justin Chang,, "Review: ‘Leto’ is a vibrant portrait of Leningrad’s underground ’80s rock scene," 19 June 2019 Then, LeBlanc hums the song's curlicue guitar intro. Matt Wake |,, "Muscle Shoals singer goes rock for standout album," 4 June 2019 Made of resin and brass and balanced on curlicue legs, the beast is part of a 65-piece home collection. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "Maison & Objet 2019: Best in Show From the Paris Design Fair," 25 Jan. 2019 The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara is one of the most dramatic of the options in the royal arsenal, with its memorable Art Deco curlicues and height. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Analyzing Every Tiara Meghan Markle Could Wear at the Royal Wedding," 3 May 2018 Where Legion’s plotting is ultimately pretty simple, The Magicians keeps twisting itself into curlicues, tighter and tighter with every season. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "FX’s Legion, Syfy’s The Magicians, and the reign of BIG MOMENT TV," 8 Apr. 2018 The tables are draped in white cloths and set against a backdrop of black wallpaper decorated with cream curlicue brushstrokes. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Review: This fine Indian spot in Louisville knows its sauce but has room to improve," 20 Dec. 2017 Miss Oates is unfashionable also in that there are no curlicues in her technique., "Wild sex, weird scandal, presidential trauma: The best books from 50 years ago that still resonate," 19 Dec. 2017 The road is a thin, curlicue curved by the green Santa Cruz Mountains. Anna Armstrong, Longreads, "How We Got There from Here," 9 Dec. 2017

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

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First Known Use of curlicue


1843, in the meaning defined above


1844, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for curlicue


curly + cue a braid of hair

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Statistics for curlicue

Last Updated

29 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curlicue

The first known use of curlicue was in 1843

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More Definitions for curlicue



English Language Learners Definition of curlicue

: a decoratively curved line or shape


cur·​li·​cue | \ ˈkər-li-ˌkyü How to pronounce curlicue (audio) \

Kids Definition of curlicue

: a fancy shape having curves in it

More from Merriam-Webster on curlicue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curlicue

Comments on curlicue

What made you want to look up curlicue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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