\ 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

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Other Words from quirk


quirkish \ ˈkwər-​kish How to pronounce quirkish (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 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

Critics tended to dismiss them as a quirk of pop history, about as relevant to the zeitgeist as that other Welsh throwback, Shakin’ Stevens. Longreads, "Manic Street Preachers’ Album The Holy Bible," 25 June 2019 By a quirk of the U.K.'s political system, that person will also become the next prime minister — no general election is needed. Linda Givetash, NBC News, "Police called to home of U.K. leadership front-runner Boris Johnson," 22 June 2019 By a quirk of federal regulations, 250ml cans must be sold in four-packs, while other sizes, including 500, 375 and 187ml, may be sold individually. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Once a niche, canned wine enters the mainstream," 21 June 2019 Davidson also noted that some unexplained quirks of genomic data make more sense in light of lateral transduction. Quanta Magazine, "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster," 16 Oct. 2018 In a curious quirk of Brazil's electoral calendar, Latin America's largest economy has gone to the polls shortly after the World Cup for the past 28 years. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg’s Week in Pictures," 14 June 2018 Best friends also read one another well, and understand and forgive one another’s quirks. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Older man gets grief for buying a puppy," 19 June 2019 Best friends also read one another well, and understand and forgive one another’s quirks. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: Their reaction to my new dog bothers me," 19 June 2019 Best friends also read one another well, and understand and forgive one another’s quirks. Ask Amy, oregonlive.com, "Ask Amy: Friends question senior man’s choice of getting a puppy," 19 June 2019

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

7 Jul 2019

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 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.

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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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