\ˈkwərk \

Definition of quirk 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an abrupt twist or curve

b : a peculiar trait : idiosyncrasy

c : accident, vagary a quirk of fate

2 : a groove separating a bead or other molding from adjoining members


quirked; quirking; quirks

Definition of quirk (Entry 2 of 2)

: curve, twist quirked his eyebrows

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from quirk


quirkily \ ˈkwər-​kə-​lē \ adverb
quirkiness \ ˈkwər-​kē-​nəs \ noun
quirkish \ ˈkwər-​kish \ adjective
quirky \ ˈkwər-​kē \ adjective

Did You Know?


Did you expect quirk to be a noun meaning "a peculiarity of action or behavior"? If so, you're probably not alone; the "peculiarity" sense of the noun quirk is commonly known and has been a part of our language since the 17th century. But quirk has long worn other hats in English, too. The sense meaning "a curve, turn, or twist" has named everything from curving pen marks on paper (i.e., flourishes) to witty turns of phrase to the vagaries or twists of fate. In contemporary English, the verb quirk is most often used in referring to facial expressions, especially those that involve crooked smiles or furrowed eyebrows.

Examples of quirk in a Sentence


Everyone has their little quirks. wearing red shoes every day is just one of her quirks

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everything about every look is on-point—that's why some fans have been surprised to notice one fashion quirk of Meghan's: Her shoes are almost always a size or two too big. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Here's Why Meghan Markle Always Wears Shoes That Are Too Big for Her," 23 June 2018 But if there’s one eyebrow-raising quirk from constructing one of the best teams of all-time, is that its most important player—its most valuable player—can go three championships running without being remembered as the best player in the series. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "For the Third Time in Three Titles, Stephen Curry’s Greatness Goes Unrecognized," 9 June 2018 Bugs aren’t the only creatures whose quirks and strengths are on full display. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "This website is crawling with bug news," 17 June 2018 At the shore house of Anthropologie founder, Colleen Bashaw conjures a riot of boho quirk and breezy seaside vibes. M.k. Quinlan, House Beautiful, "A Beach House Doesn't Get Dreamier Than This Breezy, Boho Retreat," 14 Sep. 2016 Dax Shepard is sharing his love for wife Kristen Bell — weird quirks and all. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "The Weird Reason Kristen Bell Wears Gloves in the Pool," 9 July 2018 That quirk has origins in colonial times, when the British wanted to encourage trading centers between the vast plantations. Washington Post, "2 cities share name, but 1 is in big trouble," 6 July 2018 This quirk is because being born a prince or princess is more of a courtesy title (see: Eugenie and Beatrice). Asher Fogle, Good Housekeeping, "Why You Should Stop Calling Her Princess Kate," 24 Apr. 2018 Only by this quirk of geography has the nation come to know one city as the site of a terrible tragedy while the other has remained largely anonymous. Nestor Ramos, BostonGlobe.com, "Parkland tries to build unity after tragedy," 31 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quirk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of quirk


1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1878, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quirk


origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quirk

Statistics for quirk

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quirk

The first known use of quirk was in 1565

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for quirk



English Language Learners Definition of quirk

: an unusual habit or way of behaving

: something strange that happens by chance


\ˈkwərk \

Kids Definition of quirk

1 : an odd or unusual characteristic or habit

2 : something strange that happens by chance Their meeting was a quirk of fate.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on quirk

What made you want to look up quirk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!