\ 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 The reason is partly due to a quirk in the way major stock indices, like the S&P 500, are calculated, as Fortune's Geoff Colvin explains. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "A cyberattack ‘pandemic’ would be devastating—and may be inevitable," 10 June 2020 However, a new quirk is that, with the steering functionality on, the maximum set speed for the cruise on roads other than highways is now the speed limit, down from the 5 mph over that was previously allowed. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Tesla Update Includes Automatic Slowing for Stop Signs, Lights (Even Green Ones)," 30 Apr. 2020 Hugh Dancy’s a delightful addition to the cast, but giving his legal associate a photographic memory feels like one quirk too many. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The Good Fight season 4 is loopy, paranoid, all over the place, and gripping: Review," 9 Apr. 2020 Even its specifications and test-track results might tend to mislead you, as might individual quirks of its very strong character. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1982 Audi Quattro," 22 May 2020 In a quirk of timing, UW Medicine established its program in January, only days before the country’s first coronavirus case surfaced in a Seattle suburb. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘You don’t feel alone’: How medical workers help each other cope," 20 May 2020 Washington — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that juries in state criminal trials must be unanimous to convict a defendant, settling a quirk of constitutional law that had allowed divided votes to result in convictions in Louisiana and Oregon. CBS News, "Supreme Court: Criminal juries must be unanimous to convict," 20 Apr. 2020 At moments like these, Trump’s lies become more than just a weird personality quirk of a lifelong real-estate hustler. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Trump Can’t Lie His Way Out of This One," 16 Apr. 2020 The reason has less to do with the human body’s resilience to disease than the biological quirks of viruses themselves, says Sara Sawyer, a virologist and disease ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 15 Apr. 2020 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, "Amazon is planning a 'Big Style Sale' event in June," 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, "House poised to pass $484 billion package to help small businesses, bolster hospitals and coronavirus testing," 23 Apr. 2020

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

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quirk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirk. Accessed 13 Jul. 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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