\ 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for cute

Synonyms: Adjective

artful, beguiling, cagey (also cagy), crafty, cunning, designing, devious, dodgy [chiefly British], foxy, guileful, scheming, shrewd, slick, sly, subtle, tricky, wily

Antonyms: Adjective

artless, guileless, ingenuous, innocent, undesigning

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

In the meantime, these styles have been keeping me cute and ready for action. Quinta Brunson, Glamour, "I Spend $2,116 on My Beauty Routine, But Only $12 on My Skin," 2 Jan. 2019 Subban posted a cute selfie with a yellow heart on his Instagram story. Hemal Jhaveri, For The Win, "Lindsey Vonn and P.K. Subban made their relationship Instagram official," 7 June 2018 On top of that, the 24-year-old dancer posted a ridiculously cute picture of the two smiling together. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Freak Out Over Alexis Ren and Milo Manheim's New Photos," 26 Nov. 2018 The translation of petit chou is little cabbage, which sounds almost as cute as this mini-vase will look holding a succulent on your desk or windowsill. Olivia Hall, The Seattle Times, "5 locally made home finds to spruce up your fall décor," 10 Sep. 2018 Especially right now, what's not to love about a good, old-fashioned meet cute? Kathryn Lindsay,, "There's No Such Thing As A "Good" Viral Moment Anymore," 10 July 2018 Drummond recently shared a cute picture of the couple on Instagram, and explained her reason behind the boyfriend word ban. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "Ree Drummond Shares the Hilarious Reason She Won't Admit Her Daughter Has a Boyfriend," 9 July 2018 Catching a glimpse of Fiona swimming around her tank is Instagram gold, although the Cincinnati Zoo has plenty of other opportunities for cute-spotting in the Rhino Reserve or Monkey Island, home of the exotic, red-faced Japanese Macaques. Annie Zaleski,, "See Cincinnati with fresh eyes and visit these 7 postcard-worthy sites," 29 June 2018 Steve Kerr stopped being cute and has started his Hamptons Five lineup from Game 1, a unit comprised of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Rockets May Need to Ride ‘Tuckwagon’ to Success Against Warriors," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Luckily, denim and ruffles seem to be making a big splash lately — check out this sleeveless top from Gap (on sale for $29.99) or this cute ruffled chambray crop top from Forever21 ($22) for options that are just as 'grammable. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Millie Bobby Brown Wears Denim Madewell Top on Instagram," 6 Oct. 2018 According to The Express, one of Kate and William's earliest meetings was as awkward as any romantic comedy meet cute. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "One of Kate Middleton’s Earliest Meetings with Prince William Was Really Awkward," 19 Aug. 2018 Some of the movie's cast members have shared cute behind the scenes photos from the set. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "To All the Boys I've Loved Before"," 2 Aug. 2018 Even when sharing a cute, smiley photo, Philipps makes sure to point out it’s not all fun and games with her two daughters. Patricia Garcia, Vogue, "Cardi B Cancels Tour to Focus on Motherhood, and 9 Other Celebrity Moms Who Know the Struggle Is Real," 27 July 2018 Ensembles in the main gallery by Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara demonstrate the evolution of deconstruction and the influences of punk and kawaii (cute) culture on Japanese fashion. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "On Exhibit: Japan Fashion Now," 1 Oct. 2010 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

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

Adjective and Noun

short for acute

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cute

Statistics for cute

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cute

Spanish Central: Translation of cute

Nglish: Translation of cute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cute for Arabic Speakers

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!