quiz·​zi·​cal | \ ˈkwi-zi-kəl How to pronounce quizzical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce quizzicality (audio) \ noun
quizzically \ ˈkwi-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce quizzically (audio) \ 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

Send her back!’’ chants drew blank stares and quizzical looks from people sitting in the shade in downtown Lancaster, Pa. Toluse Olorunnipa, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Send her back!’ Trump supporters find a new rallying cry," 18 July 2019 Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez fielded the ball, took a quizzical look at it and threw it to first. Tim Bannon, chicagotribune.com, "6 things to know about new Cubs catcher Martin Maldonado, including the time he literally hit the cover off a baseball," 16 July 2019 An era’s tony milieu pauses, flash-lit: an amused Yves Saint-Laurent, Halston in high spirits, a quizzical William F. Buckley. Brian Dillon, The New Yorker, "Tseng Kwong Chi, an “Ambiguous Ambassador” to Life in America," 23 June 2019 The defendant’s muted, vaguely quizzical expression rarely broke during the trial, even as prosecutor Dan Owens elicited graphic testimony of alleged oral, vaginal and anal rape from Winslow’s accusers. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "You Never Knew Kellen Winslow Jr.," 13 June 2019 The mood is comforting, but uncertain, more quizzical. New York Times, "Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?," 13 July 2018 And, to be fair, the vast majority of people complaining about the bug just seem to be treating it as a random and quizzical oddity of the social network that nobody can explain right now. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Facebook confirms years-old messages are randomly coming back to haunt users," 27 Nov. 2018 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

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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Statistics for quizzical

Last Updated

30 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce quizzical (audio) \

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).


recurring in steady succession

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