1 of 2


: an abrupt twist or curve
: a peculiar trait : idiosyncrasy
: accident, vagary
a quirk of fate
: a groove separating a bead or other molding from adjoining members
quirkish adjective


2 of 2


quirked; quirking; quirks
: curve, twist
quirked his eyebrows

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
The pricey accessories have their quirks, but despite the valid criticisms, both devices have some devoted fans, even here at The Verge. Emma Roth, The Verge, 13 Sep. 2023 None of their eccentricities compares to the hilarious quirks of the immediate family members. Courtney Howard, Variety, 7 Sep. 2023 This material, and the quirks of its presentation, make the memoir feel like a 270-some-page portal directly into Bamford’s mind. Zack Ruskin, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2023 The Madrona Hotel This 1881 estate was reimagined in 2022 by co-owner and interior designer Jay Jeffers in a whimsical palette of antiques mixed with luxurious, colorful quirk. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 27 Aug. 2023 However, with this beige flag trend, couples and people testing the dating waters have more freedom to explore what works for them while learning more about their partner’s behaviors and quirks. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 21 Aug. 2023 The people within it color the atmosphere with their own personalities and quirks. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 His quirks — the unsettling allegiance to the cult of Scientology, the aerobic outburst on Oprah’s couch, the reluctance to engage with the media — have done little to diminish, for me at least, Cruise’s uncommon appeal on the big screen. Mark Shanahan, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2023 All of her characters have secrets or quirks or mistakes that haunt them, and her creative process emerges from the different ways that vulnerability can manifest. Selome Hailu, Variety, 26 July 2023
Are these personality quirks the essence of their brilliance or pathological eccentricities which sabotage greatness and should not be excused? Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 27 Apr. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quirk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1878, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quirk was in 1565


Dictionary Entries Near quirk

Cite this Entry

“Quirk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirk. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a sudden turn, twist, or curve
: an odd personal habit : idiosyncrasy

More from Merriam-Webster on quirk

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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