\ 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

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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

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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

The twosome shared some cute moments on the red carpet, as well. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "John Legend Tears Up Honoring Chrissy Teigen at Glamour's 2018 Women of the Year Awards," 12 Nov. 2018 Audrey posted a few cute moments on her Instagram Stories, below, which featured the toddler wearing an adorable flower crown and munching on her birthday cake. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey and Jeremy Roloff Had the Most Beautiful First Birthday Party for Their Daughter," 10 Sep. 2018 Watches were an early example of the push for miniaturization that persists today and will last until humans stop thinking smaller things are cuter/better. Michael Clerizo, WSJ, "The Future of Watches: 3-D Printed Cases and Robot Horologists," 31 July 2018 Beyoncé, in what would have been a cute big-sister moment, tried to pick Solange up -- which sent both of them falling down. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "7 Times Beyonce Was a Pro During Concert Mishaps," 2 July 2018 Nothing says love like our Mini Rosebud Cupcakes (so cute!). Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "70+ Valentine's Day Captions for Every Kind of Instagram Post," 10 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile, Prince Louis looks cute as a button in his mother's arms, wearing a light blue sweater, navy bloomers, tights, and tiny shoes. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis Steal the Show in the Royal Family Christmas Card," 14 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Bob becomes a stay-at-home dad and figures out that super-strength doesn’t help in juggling Violet’s dating struggles, Dash’s math homework and Jack-Jack’s multiple nascent powers (from laser eyes to turning into a very cute demon beast). Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Fun-loving 'Incredibles 2' is worth the 14-year wait, but falls short of the original," 11 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party transformed the idea of a cute, animated children’s movie into a just-for-adults gagfest. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Happytime Murders tests the limits of subverting nostalgia," 24 Aug. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for cute

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cute

The first known use of cute was circa 1731

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More Definitions for cute



English Language Learners Definition of cute

: having a pleasing and usually youthful appearance
chiefly US, informal : 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!

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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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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