Definition of jaunty
- sporting a jaunty red beret
- a jaunty stroll
- a jaunty tune
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He struck a jaunty pose for the camera.
She was wearing a jaunty white cap.
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1662See Words from the same year
: lively in manner or appearance : having or suggesting a lively and confident quality
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