\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

These and other quirks can each be explained or justified on their own. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Nailing down the nature of ‘Oumuamua—it’s probably a comet, but…," 29 Nov. 2018 Yet the film also highlights genetic quirks and other X-factors that can’t be learned, such as Mr. Gretzky’s comprehensive memory for hockey plays. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "‘In Search of Greatness’ Seeks the Life Lessons of Sports Legends," 29 Oct. 2018 The biggest quirk starts with this fact: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize — the world’s largest ever lottery jackpot — and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds," 23 Oct. 2018 Over the years, this select group of women has seamlessly mixed femininity with irreverent charm and spontaneous quirk, much like the house’s collections themselves. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Miuccia’s Muses! 17 Quirky Beauties Who Define the Miu Miu Front Row Look," 2 Oct. 2018 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

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

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on quirk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quirk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quirk

Spanish Central: Translation of quirk

Nglish: Translation of quirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quirk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on quirk

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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