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 jaunty (audio) , ˈjän-​ \ adverb
jauntiness \ ˈjȯn-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce jaunty (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 The authors tried for a jaunty tone but had no sure answer. Barton Gellman, Wired, 24 May 2020 There was a jaunty red scarf around her neck, pinned with a large jeweled brooch. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 5 May 2020 Stein’s gnomic text, full of repetitions and oddities, and Thomson’s jaunty marches, waltzes and folk-like tunes create a stew of noise and conflict, with Susan B.,... Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 12 Feb. 2020 California Located along Southern California’s coast, the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to 20 jaunty Magellanic penguins. Lindsay Lambert Day, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Mar. 2020 This playfulness keeps the movie determinedly jaunty. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020 Was the song’s jaunty sound jeering at this guy, or sympathizing with him? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 3 Apr. 2020 Augie has a hilarious variety of expressions and sounds; hearing a chicken clucking, immediately followed by jaunty clarinet music, definitely made my day. USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2020 Sophia Lillis is a technicolor dream in a plaid trouser-and-shirt ensemble, a jaunty newsboy cap sitting atop her bright auburn hair. Angie Jaime, Teen Vogue, 4 Mar. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Jaunty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jaunty. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on jaunty

Nglish: Translation of jaunty for Spanish Speakers


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