quaint

adjective
\ ˈkwānt How to pronounce quaint (audio) \

Definition of quaint

1a : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar a quaint phrase
b : unusual or different in character or appearance : odd
2a : marked by skillful design quaint with many a device in India ink— Herman Melville
b : marked by beauty or elegance
3 obsolete : expert, skilled

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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 The quaint bed and breakfasts of yesterday have been replaced by upscale hotels and inns, and the village has become a mecca for top chefs.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

Coopmanhuijs Hotel Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa—it was established in 1679—and Coopmanhuijs, in the heart of the quaint town, oozes history. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips From Cape Town," 14 Sep. 2018 Instead, the movie now seems both quaint and prescient — a primer on issues that have only become more pressing as the massacres have increased. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "New video: 'Unsane' may be shot on an iPhone, but it's a slick paranoid thriller," 16 June 2018 Food & Drink Circa ’62 at the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek A quaint inn uphill from Route 1 serves a decadent brunch. Jody Rosen, Smithsonian, "This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines," 14 June 2018 For a man with such an interest in letting go of things and who swims so serenely through the modern world of image, subversion, and the context of no context, he is tremendously cultivated in a way that seems almost quaint. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 Tours of the premises are offered every day besides Sunday, as well as cheese and beer tastings—which make for an ideal foodie excursion or a quaint and laid-back date. Jaimie Potters, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is The Small British Town You Haven’t Heard of–But Need to Visit," 31 May 2018 That's a tall order, in no small part because so many Americans still dismiss mariachi as a quaint and kitschy Mexican tradition. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Mariachi Herencia de Mexico turns Chicago schoolkids into chart-busting stars," 23 May 2018 The quaint seaside village in Maine—which is located about 45 minutes from Portland and two hours from Boston—has a population of under 1,000 people and a public transportation system that relies solely on trolleys. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Perfect Weekend in Ogunquit, Maine," 24 Oct. 2018 Though the method sounds quaint, water clarity is actually a strong indicator of the river’s health. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "North Shore's annual 'wade-in' offers a glimpse of Magothy's improving water quality," 11 July 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 3

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

quailhead

quail snipe

quaily

quaint

quaintish

quait

quake

Statistics for quaint

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quaint

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

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More Definitions for quaint

quaint

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of quaint

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

quaint

adjective
\ ˈkwānt How to pronounce quaint (audio) \
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

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