quixotic was our Word of the Day on 10/29/2014. Hear the podcast!
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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
Guevara’s reputation rests on his status as an iconic Cold War combatant and quixotic espouser of revolutionary ideals.
The two authors argue for the historic importance of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, an international agreement usually dismissed by historians as ineffectual and quixotic.
Spoelstra learned to appreciate Waiters’s backstory, which explained his quixotic attitude.
Pruitt hasn't taken the bait yet — legally, tilting at the EPA's scientific finding that manmade CO2 is harmful to human health because of the effects of climate change would be a legally quixotic task.
At the end of the day, no one knows exactly what de Leon will do, but mounting a challenge against Feinstein could well end up being a quixotic exercise for him.
Given Softbank's high level of engagement on a Sprint-T-Mobile deal, its quixotic campaign to try to buy Charter Communications has slowed considerably.
Future Feilde featuring Le Youth, Quixotic and more, July 8, Crossroads KC.
Brennan’s version of Moscow is Vershinin (a charismatic Chiké Johnson), commander of the troops garrisoned in town and quixotic seeker – in a play filled with them, each one given texture by Brown’s excellent ensemble – for the meaning of existence.
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.
Origin and Etymology of quixotic
First Known Use: 1718See Words from the same year
Synonymsidealist, idealistic, quixotical, romantic, starry, starry-eyed, utopian, visionary
Related Wordsimpractical, unrealistic; crusading, messianic, zealous; dewy-eyed, moonstruck, moony, sentimental, tender-minded; hopeful, optimistic, Pollyannaish (also Pollyannish), rosy, upbeat; doctrinaire, ideological (also ideologic)
Near Antonymshardheaded, hard-nosed, tough-minded, unsentimental; practical, pragmatic (also pragmatical), realistic
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
Seen and Heard
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