\ 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

Other Words from quirk


quirkish \ ˈkwər-​kish How to pronounce quirk (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 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: Noun Yet maybe one reason that the tale, as appealing as it, doesn’t have much resonance is that the whole meaning of it ends up being just a quirk. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 15 June 2022 By a quirk of circumstance, Coachella was one of the last festivals to return, after others started running at scale beginning with Rolling Loud Miami in July, 2021. Eric Fuller, Forbes, 16 May 2022 There's a quirk to the rear quarters, however, especially on entry. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 13 Apr. 2022 These learnings came by chance, yet another quirk of our VUCA world. Liz Guthridge, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Thanks to a scheduling quirk, this year’s Cambridge Jazz Festival falls on the same weekend as the famed Newport Jazz Festival. Noah Schaffer, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 And waited, learning another quirk in parts of Los Angeles, the lack of people on the street. Liam Dillonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2022 Done sees in Sales and Plunkett a similar willingness to embrace inspiration in one’s own backyard and not subscribe to a sense of cultural inferiority, a lingering quirk of Australians. Vogue, 17 May 2022 This is far from the first eyebrow-raising quirk of their relationship. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Apr. 2022 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, 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 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.

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

Learn More About quirk

Listen to Our Podcast About quirk

Dictionary Entries Near quirk



quirk bead

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for quirk

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quirk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirk. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for quirk


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on quirk

Nglish: Translation of quirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quirk for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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