quizzical

adjective

quiz·​zi·​cal ˈkwi-zi-kəl How to pronounce quizzical (audio)
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
quizzicality noun
quizzically adverb

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Some viewed him with a quizzical brow — a fair response given the treachery of dating. Reina Abrevaya, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2022 The standard response was a quizzical, dumbfounded look. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 6 Sep. 2022 Richard froze and gave me a look, startled and quizzical at the same time. Douglas G Adler, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2015 The plot snakes along, full of double-crosses and blind alleys, quizzical looks and long stares at security footage. Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune, 30 Nov. 2022 The complexities of a Mondrian register all at once, with a bang that can hold up to even the most quizzical inspection ever after. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2022 But an element of team chemistry was impacted with the quizzical trade of lefty starter Jordan Montgomery, a lifelong Yankee and a popular clubhouse figure who was having a solid season. Pete Caldera, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2022 As in the comedies of Jacques Tati, quizzical mischief warms up a cold environment. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 In true Chili Peppers fashion, the ambling song overflows with esoteric imagery and quizzical, psychedelic-lite lyrics. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 3 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quizzical was in 1797

Dictionary Entries Near quizzical

Cite this Entry

“Quizzical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quizzical. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

quizzical

adjective
quiz·​zi·​cal ˈkwiz-i-kəl How to pronounce quizzical (audio)
1
: teasing in a good-natured way
2
a
: showing doubt in a good-natured way
b
: showing puzzlement or curiosity
quizzically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on quizzical

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