quaint

adjective \ ˈkwānt \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of quaint

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

quaintly

adverb

quaintness

noun

Examples of quaint in a Sentence

  1. 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 The quaint bed and breakfasts of yesterday have been replaced by upscale hotels and inns, and the village has become a mecca for top chefs.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 FishWine Spectator15 June 2008
  2. 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. RosenfeldHarper'sMay 2004
  3. 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 ElliottNew York Times25 July 2003
  4. The fishing village was very quaint.

  5. The writer talks about the quaint customs of the natives.

Recent Examples of quaint from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of quaint

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

QUAINT Defined for English Language Learners

quaint

adjective

Definition of quaint for English Language Learners

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


QUAINT Defined for Kids

quaint

adjective \ ˈkwānt \

Definition of quaint for Students

quainter; quaintest
:pleasingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar
  • quaint customs

quaintly

adverb

quaintness

noun


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