\ 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

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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

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 This small quirk in Howard’s process makes them eligible for financial aid like any other students. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Finessing of Howard University," 29 Mar. 2018 The French microbiologist Louis Pasteur discovered this quirk of nature more than 150 years ago. Luba Ostashevsky, Ars Technica, "How did life begin? It’s Chemistry 101, but in space," 26 Feb. 2018 The show has a lot of fun with its protagonist’s weaknesses and, at first, Cumberbatch exercises his fussy Sherlock sensibilities to excellent effect, playing Patrick’s quirks as simultaneously irrefutable and ridiculous. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Shines as Drug-Addled Aristocrat Patrick Melrose," 9 May 2018 One of the quirks of international soccer is how some countries tend to produce the same profile of player year after year. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Croatia: The World Cup’s Russian Nesting Dolls," 6 July 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.

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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

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Statistics for quirk

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quirk

The first known use of quirk was in 1565

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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.

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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