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 The quaint bed and breakfasts of yesterday have been replaced by upscale hotels and inns, and the village has become a mecca for top chefs.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 The game was quaint and rough around the edges and fans were harder to find. oregonlive, "Jimmy Conway, Portland Timbers legend who helped shape soccer in Oregon, dies at 73 after battling dementia," 15 Feb. 2020 While the 19th- and 20th-century buildings are quaint, the street was largely empty on a recent weekday. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "Bust Town Gamble," 7 Feb. 2020 In an era in which online stores such as Amazon.com are battling with giants like Walmart and Target to offer customers anything under the sun, shopping at a department store for many Americans is almost quaint. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "The Department Store of the Future Will Look a Lot Like the Past," 17 Jan. 2020 Inviting cafes and restaurants line the quaint streets. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Inside the Detroit Pistons' plan to create 'village' for rookie Sekou Doumbouya," 21 Oct. 2019 The home is near fabulous paths, the ferry to San Francisco, and Bay Farm School, yet is on a quaint street. Bang Staff And Correspondents, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Come and see the best of what Harbor Bay has to offer," 11 June 2019 But layered into the quaint streets and old-fashioned standbys are a new generation of hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Plan a Summer Stay in Salesas, Madrid’s Smallest Neighborhood," 25 May 2019 That’s because a new technology would soon make plain old side-of-the-mountain strip mining look quaint. Washington Post, "Kentucky was devastated for decades by mountaintop removal. Now scientists have figured out a way to undo the damage — one tree at a time.," 13 Feb. 2020 The teen characters are similarly stuck in a realm where their drama — love triangles, hockey practices, amateur filmmaking — is likely to bore young viewers and feel quaint to anybody older. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Locke & Key': TV Review," 4 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for quaint

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for quaint

Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quaint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quaint. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for quaint

quaint

adjective
How to pronounce quaint (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quaint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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