twee

play
adjective \ˈtwē\

Definition of twee

chiefly British

  1. :  affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint such a theme might sound twee or corny — The Times Literary Supplement (London)

twee was our Word of the Day on 04/11/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of twee in a Sentence

  1. The movie was a bit twee for my taste.

Did You Know?

Most adults wouldn't be caught dead saying, "Oh, look at the twee little birdie!" but they probably wouldn't be averse to saying: "He went fishing with his dad," "She works as a nanny," or "Hey, buddy, how's it going?" Anyone who uses dad, nanny, or buddy owes a debt to "baby talk," a term used for both the childish speech adults adopt when addressing youngsters and for the speech of small children who are just learning to talk. Twee also originated in baby talk as an alteration of sweet. In the early 1900s, it was a term of affection, but nowadays British speakers and writers—and, increasingly, Americans as well—use twee for things that have passed beyond agreeable and into the realm of cloying.

Origin and Etymology of twee

baby-talk alteration of sweet


First Known Use: 1905


TWEE Defined for English Language Learners

twee

play
adjective

Definition of twee for English Language Learners

  • : sweet or cute in a way that is silly or sentimental



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

the point at which something begins

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!