jaun·ty | \ˈjȯn-tē, 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, ˈjän- \ adverb
jauntiness \ˈjȯn-tē-nəs, 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

In the final sketch of the night, Ferrell played Chucky Lee Byrd, an old-school singer whose jaunty tunes were all about loving underaged girls. Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Billboard, "'Saturday Night Live': Will Ferrell Plays Characters Old and New in Hosting Return," 28 Jan. 2018 Dressed as a bandit in black costume and a jaunty hat, with a cigar in one hand, the rosy-cheeked boy—his hair just slightly askew—has a little smirk on his face. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting From the Museums of Madrid’ Review: A Visual Heritage Tour," 3 July 2018 Overall ☆☆☆ Despite its jaunty name, Ciao has a soothing air, offering mostly solid and pleasing Italian fare in a setting that reads as a little dated but comfortable. Kate Washington, sacbee, "It's not flashy or splashy, but Roseville's Ciao excels at cooking classic Italian," 8 June 2018 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 In less than an hour, Mr. Paul sketched the bunny head in profile, with a jaunty bow tie. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Art Paul, Playboy magazine art director who created bunny logo, dies at 93," 30 Apr. 2018 Even these obligatory beats, however, scarcely register amid the movie's hectic swirl of sloppily cut-together action, as well as a pervasively gritty, downbeat atmosphere that tries hard to seem jaunty and back-to-basics. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' never gets off the ground, but don't blame Alden Ehrenreich," 16 May 2018 In one riotous scene, a line of pistoning couples becomes the cylinders of an engine, revving up and then cooling off, jaunty in snaps of the back and whooshing in their horsepower. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "A rainbow of shades in the voices of SHN’s ‘The Color Purple’," 3 May 2018 Jack may be jaunty, but Plummer locates the man’s frostbitten heart. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "The cast outshines the material in road trip movie ‘Boundaries’," 22 June 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

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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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Comments on jaunty

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


lying above or upon

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