\ˈkwānt \

Definition of quaint 

1 obsolete : expert, skilled

2a : marked by skillful design quaint with many a device in India ink— Herman Melville

b : marked by beauty or elegance

3a : unusual or different in character or appearance : odd

b : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar a quaint phrase

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Other Words from quaint

quaintly adverb
quaintness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for quaint

strange, singular, unique, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, odd, quaint, outlandish mean departing from what is ordinary, usual, or to be expected. strange stresses unfamiliarity and may apply to the foreign, the unnatural, the unaccountable. a journey filled with strange sights singular suggests individuality or puzzling strangeness. a singular feeling of impending disaster unique implies singularity and the fact of being without a known parallel. a career unique in the annals of science peculiar implies a marked distinctiveness. the peculiar status of America's first lady eccentric suggests a wide divergence from the usual or normal especially in behavior. the eccentric eating habits of preschoolers erratic stresses a capricious and unpredictable wandering or deviating. a friend's suddenly erratic behavior odd applies to a departure from the regular or expected. an odd sense of humor quaint suggests an old-fashioned but pleasant oddness. a quaint fishing village outlandish applies to what is uncouth, bizarre, or barbaric. outlandish fashions of the time

Examples of quaint in a Sentence

A lot can change in 25 years, and Yountville has gone from an also-ran on the Napa food-and-wine tourism scene to the focus of activity. The quaint bed and breakfasts of yesterday have been replaced by upscale hotels and inns, and the village has become a mecca for top chefs. — Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, 15 June 2008 Therefore, when the federal Constitutional Convention decided in 1787 that U.S. senators would be appointed by state legislatures rather than elected by the people at large, the drafters were actually placing the choice of U.S. senators in the control of state leaders who had met their states' highest qualifications for property and religion. Today, these property and religious qualifications are likely to strike us as quaint historical oddities. — Richard N. Rosenfeld, Harper's, May 2004 Five minutes by ferry from the bustling concrete depths of Wall Street sits what could be a quaint New England town: stately, collegiate buildings framed by tree-lined walkways where the wind rustles through aging oak trees. — Andrea Elliott, New York Times, 25 July 2003 The fishing village was very quaint. The writer talks about the quaint customs of the natives.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Buzz60 As the Italian locals in Ravello tell it, an Englishman came to the quaint seaside village to save his life. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Heaven on earth? This Courier Journal sports writer thinks he found it," 29 June 2018 Old Wethersfield is Connecticut’s oldest historic district and is often lauded as a bucolic, quaint New England village. Kathleen Mcwilliams, Courant Community, "Wethersfield Squashes Proposed Residential Care Facility In Historic District," 21 June 2018 The Malloys have been house hunting in the quaint village — attacked by the British during the War of 1812 and home to the venerable Griswold Inn — since last summer. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "From The Governor's Residence To Essex: Malloys Make Offer On House," 10 June 2018 That liquor could be an issue around which a political class might form now seems quaint. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Liberated Spirits’ Review: When Alcohol Was a Women’s Issue," 25 Oct. 2018 All of the Wedding March movies including Hallmark's latest, Wedding March 4: Something Old, Something New, were filmed at Rowena’s Inn on the River, a quaint little spot on the Harrison River in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "This Inn Featured in Five Hallmark Channel Movies Is a Real Place You Can Visit," 19 July 2018 Cozy, quaint, and tranquil are a few adjectives to describe yet another dorm room at The University of Mississippi. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "University of Mississippi Freshmen Dorm Decor," 28 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, only feet away, Eden is the star of her own romantic comedy, taking place under the quaint moonlight of New England. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 10 Recap: This One Hits Too Close To Home, You Guys," 20 June 2018 Others are stretched to the breaking point by the floods, which tore up streets and swept away cars in the quaint downtown of historic 18th- and 19th-century buildings. David Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "Body found of man who disappeared amid Maryland flooding," 30 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quaint

Middle English queinte, cointe, from Anglo-French, clever, expert, from Latin cognitus, past participle of cognoscere to know — more at cognition

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Dictionary Entries near quaint


quail snipe






Statistics for quaint

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for quaint

The first known use of quaint was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for quaint



English Language Learners Definition of quaint

: having an old-fashioned or unusual quality or appearance that is usually attractive or appealing


\ˈkwānt \
quainter; quaintest

Kids Definition of quaint

: pleasingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar quaint customs

Other Words from quaint

quaintly adverb
quaintness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on quaint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quaint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quaint

Spanish Central: Translation of quaint

Nglish: Translation of quaint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quaint for Arabic Speakers

Comments on quaint

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a nest or breeding place

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