quiz·​zi·​cal | \ˈkwi-zi-kəl \

Definition of quizzical 

1 : comically quaint a quizzical old man

2 : mildly teasing or mocking a quizzical remark

3 : expressive of puzzlement, curiosity, or disbelief raised a quizzical eyebrow

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Other Words from quizzical

quizzicality \ ˌkwi-​zə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē \ noun
quizzically \ ˈkwi-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of quizzical in a Sentence

He gave me a quizzical look. There was a quizzical expression on his face. She raised a quizzical eyebrow when she saw what he was wearing.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Prince William held the hands of both is other children as Princess Charlotte looked slightly quizzical at the Archbishop who bent down to welcome her. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "See the Royal Family of 5! Will, Kate, George and Charlotte Arrive at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 This would appear a quizzical inclusion given the spoil of talent decorating the nation’s roster for the last 20 years. Hayden Bird, BostonGlobe.com, "An American’s guide to picking a team to root for in the World Cup," 14 June 2018 But in many academic fields, the technology is still greeted with shrugs and quizzical looks. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Muons: The Little-known Particles Helping to Probe the Impenetrable," 28 May 2018 Thoroughly inspired by nature, Oceanside artist Carrie Minikel has an instinct for transforming common objects into quizzical pieces of art that are at once representative and abstract, familiar yet wholly new. Cynthia Zanone, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The irresistibly curious art of Carrie Minikel," 25 May 2018 The movie is structured as a quizzical dialogue — complete with cue cards — between Jack and a sardonic interlocutor named Verge (Bruno Ganz). David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The House That Jack Built': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 15 May 2018 Officially, Curry’s status Saturday was upgraded from questionable to quizzical, and then to effervescent. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steve Kerr gets creative with lineup, but fans will still take Stephen Curry," 28 Apr. 2018 Still, Alexis Ramirez, 19, a student at New York University who is Mexican-American from California, was quizzical after seeing a preview last week. Liz Robbins, New York Times, "At the Public Theater, a Mother, a Daughter and Deportation," 8 Apr. 2018 Someone over at the confluence of the 15th and 16th greens was creating quite a ruckus, while Tiger was busy eliciting only murmurs and quizzical stares. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Tiger Woods' disappointing 75 leaves him too far back at the Masters," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quizzical.' 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 quizzical

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for quizzical

The first known use of quizzical was in 1797

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More Definitions for quizzical



English Language Learners Definition of quizzical

: showing that you do not understand something or that you find something strange or amusing


quiz·​zi·​cal | \ˈkwi-zi-kəl \

Kids Definition of quizzical

: showing doubt, puzzlement, or curiosity a quizzical look

Other Words from quizzical

quizzically \ -​zi-​klē, -​zi-​kə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on quizzical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quizzical

Spanish Central: Translation of quizzical

Nglish: Translation of quizzical for Spanish Speakers

Comments on quizzical

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


playful or foolish behavior

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