\ 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

But for all its quirks that led to those creative names, the MD-80 developed a mystique as the workhorse jetliner for American Airlines. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Living on the streets, dying on the streets," 5 Sep. 2019 This seems to be a weird quirk of the Joy Cons, but some PC drivers have managed to stop it. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Turning the Nintendo Switch into Android’s best gaming hardware," 15 Aug. 2019 The acreage and its many quirks afford Chapman an opportunity to display his speed, athleticism and stunt-man mentality. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Matt Chapman’s playground provides room for greatness — and risk," 15 Aug. 2019 Remaining in the law is a quirk that results in a big tax jump by making just a dollar over the threshold not to pay taxes. Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "See if you really will get a tax cut from the state legislature this year; many Ohioans will pay more," 22 July 2019 There is another quirk at play: a shortage of ultrasafe German government bonds. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Bond-Yield Plunge Confounds the World’s Economy," 23 June 2019 In a schedule quirk, the Sox had a day off in Denver on Monday while the Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, at Coors Field. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Rick Porcello believes his command has improved lately," 26 Aug. 2019 Violence in the movie is not so much a lark of the ruling élite as a quirk of one fraught family struggling, as any does, to impart its odd traditions to the next generation. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "“Ready or Not,” a Screwball Take on the Hide-And-Seek Slasher Film," 24 Aug. 2019 There’s just one exception: The Handmaid’s Tale might still receive a few nominations, thanks to a quirk of Emmy rules. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The 2019 Emmys drama race is wide open, thanks (in part) to Game of Thrones," 15 July 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

15 Sep 2019

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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

What made you want to look up quirk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

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