\ˈkyüt \
cuter; cutest

Definition of cute 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : clever or shrewd often in an underhanded manner " … he's a true patriot and statesman … and a most particular cute lawyer."— Thomas Chandler Haliburton

b : impertinent, smart-alecky Don't get cute with me.

2 : attractive or pretty especially in a childish, youthful, or delicate way a cute puppy a cute smile

3 : obviously straining for effect The movie's too cute to be taken seriously.



Definition of cute (Entry 2 of 2)

: the quality or state of being cute or cutesy also : an instance of cuteness or cutesiness usually used in plural a movie suffering from a case of the cutes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cute


cutely adverb
cuteness noun

Examples of cute in a Sentence


she's very nice, but she's not afraid to get cute when there's something she wants we're having a serious discussion here, so cut the cute remarks

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Unlike its humanoid counterparts, which cover both cute and cuddly and demonic-looking variants, the smooth, black robot snake is controlled remotely by a PC and a Playstation controller. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "You Can't Unsee This Robot Snake Scaling a Ladder," 10 Oct. 2018 However, whether or not their meet cute at college was their very first meeting is a point of contention. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "One of Kate Middleton’s Earliest Meetings with Prince William Was Really Awkward," 19 Aug. 2018 Some schools have a more casual dress code for their homecoming dances, where jean shorts and a cute top will suffice, while others require a dress or suit for the occassion. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Homecoming?," 9 July 2018 That’s the underlying mystery of Bart Layton’s American Animals, a too-cute cross between a heist movie and a true-crime documentary that ends up borrowing the worst traits of both. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Slick but Empty True Crime of American Animals," 1 June 2018 Look, this is the premier podium event of the season, and no one can waste that spotlight on a cute (if not really effective) team-bonding experiment. The Crossover Staff,, "2018 NBA Finals: Warriors-Cavs IV Picks, Random Predictions and More," 31 May 2018 But, that cute, sweet message about cuddling up on the couch left me to believe HMF must mean something physical. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Can You Decode The Secret Message Christina El Moussa Is Sending Her Boyfriend On Instagram?," 25 May 2018 There's a meet-cute at college, an idyllic series of dates in the English countryside, a small hurdle when Florence's snobby high-society parents question Edward's solidly middle class background. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "On Chesil Beach: A Period Drama With a Surprising—and Subtle—#MeToo Twist," 18 May 2018 By now, the animals in the galleries below have grown up a bit, but that doesn't make their baby pictures any less cute. Susan B. Barnes, USA TODAY, "Baby zoo animals born in spring 2018," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Grande is conventionally beautiful; Davidson is punk-rock cute. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ has come full circle as an extremely online event," 6 Nov. 2018 Despite the camper’s small size, the Interstate Nineteen still includes a wet bath with toilet, one-piece shower, sink, mirror, a retractable clothes line, and a cute riveted aluminum porthole door. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Airstream debuts new compact luxury camper van," 4 Sep. 2018 The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is a cute, easy way to print out memories from your phone instantly. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "HP's Sprocket Photo Printer makes easy, fun snapshots and has a $40 discount today," 19 July 2018 Fans, young and old, have taken to Twitter to gush about how friggin' cute the pair are. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Millie Bobby Brown and Jacob Sartorius Sang a Duet Together on Instagram and It's CUTE AF!," 20 Mar. 2018 Those are the scenes that elevate what would have been a cheesy meet cute gone wrong into a harrowing tale of endurance., "Adrift Review: A Brutal Tale Of Female Survival," 31 May 2018 Abreu is like the cute, lived-in bungalow on the cul-de-sac whose market price will fall well short of an inflated number the seller truly seeks for reasons difficult to explain. David Haugh,, "No apology necessary: White Sox All-Star Jose Abreu worth keeping more than trading," 11 July 2018 The story of the maybe-couple’s lofty meet-cute had slipped the surly bonds of mirth. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "#PlaneBae and the Slow Death of Whimsy," 6 July 2018 Cutting between this sequence and Millie and Obie's screwball meet-cute over handcuffs is jarring at best. Katie Walsh,, "'Kings' confounds with a take on the L.A. riots starring Halle Berry that’s largely naive," 26 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of cute


circa 1731, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cute


short for acute


see cute entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cute

Statistics for cute

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cute

The first known use of cute was circa 1731

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cute



English Language Learners Definition of cute

: having a pleasing and usually youthful appearance

: attractive in a sexual way

: clever in an appealing way


\ˈkyüt \
cuter; cutest

Kids Definition of cute

1 : attractive in looks or actions a cute puppy

2 : clever sense 2 a cute story

3 : clever in a way that annoys Don't be cute with me!

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cute

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


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!