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

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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 The authors tried for a jaunty tone but had no sure answer. Barton Gellman, Wired, "Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network," 24 May 2020 There was a jaunty red scarf around her neck, pinned with a large jeweled brooch. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Preview Jennifer Weiner's Big Summer, the newest novel from the queen of beach reads," 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, "Struggles for Justice Take Center Stage," 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, "These Wildlife Webcams Will Cure Your Cabin Fever," 18 Mar. 2020 This playfulness keeps the movie determinedly jaunty. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "‘Goldie’ Review: Scraping to Get By, and Get Fabulous," 20 Feb. 2020 Was the song’s jaunty sound jeering at this guy, or sympathizing with him? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Adam Schlesinger’s Deceptively Chipper American Dream," 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, "32 incredible coding toys that every kid will want," 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, "‘I Am Not Okay With This’ Star Sophia Lillis Talks Netflix Show," 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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The first known use of jaunty was in 1662

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Cite this Entry

“Jaunty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jaunty. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for jaunty


How to pronounce jaunty (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jaunty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jaunty

Spanish Central: Translation of jaunty

Nglish: Translation of jaunty for Spanish Speakers

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