quixotic was our Word of the Day on 10/29/2014. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of quixotic in a Sentence
- In … an earnest book-length essay of neo-Victorian public-mindedness that deplores the "nasty, knowing abuse" that the author would have us fear contaminates too much American humor lately, David Denby, a movie critic for The New Yorker, sets for himself what has to be one of the most quixotic projects that a moral reformer can undertake. —Walter Kirn, New York Times Book Review, 22 Feb. 2009
- The history of biblical oil prospecting is filled with quixotic quests and colorful characters, starting with Welsie Hancock, a wealthy California man who in the 1960s dreamed that Jesus told him he would find black gold in the Holy Land. He sunk his entire fortune into two dry holes. —Mariah Blake, Mother Jones, January and February 2008
- Mumey had announced his candidacy as an independent in the partisan election, which meant that he needed 2,300 signatures of registered voters in order to get on the ballot in the fall. It seemed a quixotic adventure, given the small size of Celebration and Mumey's lack of name recognition outside the town. —Douglas Frantz et al., Celebration, USA, 1999
They had quixotic dreams about the future.
in this age of giant chain stores, any attempt at operating an independent bookstore must be regarded as quixotic
Recent Examples of quixotic from the Web
Penny has been one of the leaders of the quixotic attempt to save the Hayward Field's east grandstand from impending demolition to make way for the University of Oregon's new, state-of-the art track stadium.
Co-founder Matt Smith acknowledged the whole thing seems quixotic.
At the magazine, his stories ranged from a 6,000-word account of Jackie Robinson’s 1947 breakthrough on the baseball diamond to a quixotic tale of his two-year search for chess prodigy Bobby Fischer.
The politerati couldn’t help but wonder: What was the meaning of this quixotic gambit?
This is not exemplary of citizens failing to be smart enough or work hard enough to achieve the American dream, but rather indicative of how quixotic the whole idea really is.
So will San Francisco spend the rest of its days shoveling sand in a quixotic battle against inevitability?
Ergo, Lane is extraordinary in a staging that, in some other ways, too badly wants to pull a text that still demands to be at the center of the political discourse in the direction of the theatrically quixotic.
The quixotic interlude emphasizes one of the themes of Mr. Hopkins’s large and vigorously argued book.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quixotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
quixotic Has Roots in Literature
If you guessed that quixotic has something to do with Don Quixote, you're absolutely right. The hero of the 17th-century Spanish novel El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (by Miguel de Cervantes) didn't change the world by tilting at windmills, but he did leave a linguistic legacy in English. The adjective quixotic is based on his name and has been used to describe unrealistic idealists since at least the early 18th century. The novel has given English other words as well. Dulcinea, the name of Quixote's beloved, has come to mean mistress or sweetheart, and rosinante, which is sometimes used to refer to an old, broken-down horse, comes from the name of the hero's less-than-gallant steed.
Synonym Discussion of quixotic
- an imaginary desert isle
- a teller of fanciful stories
- visionary schemes
- a fantastic world inhabited by monsters
- chimerical dreams of future progress
- a quixotic crusade
QUIXOTIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of quixotic for English Language Learners
: hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up quixotic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).