\ ˈkwərk How to pronounce quirk (audio) \

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

Other Words from quirk


quirkish \ ˈkwər-​kish How to pronounce quirk (audio) \ 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 can be used in referring to facial expressions, especially those that involve crooked smiles or furrowed eyebrows.

Examples of quirk in a Sentence

Noun Everyone has their little quirks. wearing red shoes every day is just one of her quirks
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Anwar was particularly moved by the revelation that a major study, one on which many of the anti-flavor ban arguments hinge, might be fraught due to a quirk in data collection. Seamus Mcavoy, courant.com, 15 Mar. 2022 The amount of gas shipped through the pipelines has surged since the invasion because of a quirk in the structure of Europe’s gas market. Joe Wallace, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2022 For white men, intoxication has long been a kind of social currency, an interesting quirk of the mind, whereas women and minorities who enjoy themselves too much are breaking one of our last remaining cultural taboos. New York Times, 24 Mar. 2022 Pinterest had gamed the system, leveraging some quirk of the image-search algorithm to draw more visitors to its own site. The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2022 Due to a budgeting quirk, some of the money cannot be spent until the fiscal year 2022 appropriations measure is signed into law. Katie Lobosco And Tami Luhby, CNN, 9 Mar. 2022 For Westerners long accustomed to separation of church and state, the Russian arrangement can seem an anachronous quirk. Tim Kelleher, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 But McLean's data shows that book prices remained steady, partly due to a quirk that is specific to the bookselling market. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2022 Created 80 years ago, the system became a reliable quirk of city life until Dec. 10, 2019, when the emergency warning system fell silent for a major upgrade. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Working from home: The fun quirks couples learn about each other Look and sound more professional Mind your manners in online meetings by following these tips For video meetings, the eyes have it. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 4 June 2020 But many other smaller outfits were unable to access the loan program, even as some larger firms took advantage of the program’s quirks to get approval for high-dollar relief. Tom Benning, Dallas News, 23 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near quirk



quirk bead

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quirk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirk. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for quirk


\ ˈkwərk How to pronounce quirk (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on quirk

Nglish: Translation of quirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quirk for Arabic Speakers


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