jaun·​ty | \ ˈjȯn-tē How to pronounce jaunty (audio) , ˈjän-\
jauntier; jauntiest

Definition of jaunty

1 : sprightly in manner or appearance : lively sporting a jaunty red beret a jaunty stroll a jaunty tune

2 archaic

a : stylish
b : genteel

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Other Words from jaunty

jauntily \ ˈjȯn-​tə-​lē How to pronounce jauntily (audio) , ˈjän-​ \ adverb
jauntiness \ ˈjȯn-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce jauntiness (audio) , ˈjän-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

You might not guess that the words "jaunty" and "genteel" are related - but they are. Both words evolved from the French word gentil, which carried the sense of "noble." At first "jaunty" was used, like "genteel," for things aristocratic, but as the years went by people stopped using it that way. Today "jaunty" is used to describe things that are lively and perky - not things that are aristocratic and elegant - and the only remaining clue to its noble origin is in its pronunciation.

Examples of jaunty in a Sentence

He struck a jaunty pose for the camera. She was wearing a jaunty white cap.

Recent Examples on the Web

This is all good fun, but Carroll’s humor and jaunty writing can’t completely camouflage her pain over the damage caused by some of the men in her life. Sibbie O’sullivan, Houston Chronicle, "We know about E. Jean Carroll’s rape accusation. How is the rest of her book?," 8 July 2019 Any mix of soft herbs can replace some of the parsley; at my house that means a big handful of basil from my jaunty new plant. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "Forget the House Cocktail, I Have a House Dip," 5 July 2019 But jaunty demeanor and undeniable talent warrant reasons to keep him in close watch this tournament. Vanja Lakic, SI.com, "Sofia Kenin and David Goffin Among Sleepers to Watch at Wimbledon," 29 June 2019 Over to one side of the stage, guest artist Craig Jaster (Mark’s brother) sings and plays multiple instruments, interpreting period tunes (e.g., Cole Porter) and also jaunty period-esque music of his own composition. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Angst and comedy among the Olympians in ‘Pantheon’," 24 June 2019 The podcast is a deep investigation into America's harmful fears in the guise of a jaunty true crime podcast. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "These Podcasts Will Satisfy Your Craving For Making A Murderer," 15 June 2019 Their striking appearance and jaunty waddles spark endless fascination among wildlife watchers and zoogoers alike. National Geographic, "How penguins show their smarts," 25 Apr. 2019 In less than an hour, Mr. Paul sketched the bunny head in profile, with a jaunty bow tie. Matt Schudel, BostonGlobe.com, "Art Paul, designer of Playboy’s bunny logo, dies at 93," 4 May 2018 The first variation, which sounds jaunty in most performances, bursts forth in Gould’s first take with stunning speed and incisive articulation. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "5 Hours of Glenn Gould Outtakes. Why? Listen and Find Out.," 2 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jaunty.' 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 jaunty

1662, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for jaunty

modification of French gentil

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Dictionary Entries near jaunty


jaunting car






Statistics for jaunty

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for jaunty

The first known use of jaunty was in 1662

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More Definitions for jaunty



English Language Learners Definition of jaunty

: lively in manner or appearance : having or suggesting a lively and confident quality


jaun·​ty | \ ˈjȯn-tē How to pronounce jaunty (audio) \
jauntier; jauntiest

Kids Definition of jaunty

: lively in manner or appearance He approached with a jaunty walk.

Other Words from jaunty

jauntily \ ˈjȯn-​tə-​lē \ adverb
jauntiness \ ˈjȯn-​tē-​nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on jaunty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jaunty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jaunty

Spanish Central: Translation of jaunty

Nglish: Translation of jaunty for Spanish Speakers

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