\ 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

Noun Everyone has their little quirks. wearing red shoes every day is just one of her quirks
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lawyers who frequently practice in front of Frye described him as a judge with quirks. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Who is Richard Frye, the Franklin County judge who helped throw Ohio’s election into disarray amid coronavirus outbreak?," 17 Mar. 2020 The issue stems from a clause in the payday loan contracts, as well as quirks in the U.S. legal system. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Payday loans are landing people in jail," 20 Feb. 2020 The warped glass of the show magnifies universal quirks of human behavior into light comic grotesques. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "“Love Is Blind” Is Offensive to Human Dignity, Which Is Key to Its Success," 17 Feb. 2020 Vicki Capp, who has been welcoming guests to the Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast since 1982, knows the perks and quirks of eateries in Ashland as well as those just outside its borders. oregonlive, "Ashland insider’s guide: What are the best restaurants in Ashland? Picky innkeepers recommend these eateries," 6 Feb. 2020 Top hits: Get San Antonio Express-News stories sent directly to your inbox That’s not all the quirk. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "After 75 years, one of San Antonio’s weirdest intersections will get a makeover," 25 Dec. 2019 But those quirks made the Millennium Falcon beloved. Tim Grierson, Popular Mechanics, "How 'Star Wars' Filmmakers Built the Millennium Falcon," 20 Dec. 2019 But despite his tranquilizer dependency, his erratic memory and other quirks, his crew are devoted to him. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Next Act's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' evokes golden moments in TV comedy," 23 Nov. 2019 Whatever quirks exist on the playing field are familiar. BostonGlobe.com, "The 2019 World Series, however, has flipped the concept of home-field advantage entirely on its head. The road team won the first six games, leading into Wednesday’s winner-takes-all Game 7.," 31 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for quirk

Time Traveler

The first known use of quirk was in 1565

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Last Updated

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quirk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirk. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for quirk


How to pronounce quirk (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quirk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quirk

Spanish Central: Translation of quirk

Nglish: Translation of quirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quirk for Arabic Speakers

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