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[kwah-suh-moh-doh, -zuh-moh-] /ˌkwɑ səˈmoʊ doʊ, -zəˈmoʊ-/
the ugly, humpbacked protagonist of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo.
Origin of Quasimodo1
1840-50 (def. 1) < Late Latin, from the opening words of the introit antiphon for the Sunday: Quasi modo genitī infantēs … “As just born children …” (1 Pet. 2:2); 1830-35 (def. 2)


[kwah-suh-moh-doh, -zuh-moh-; Italian kwah-zee-maw-daw] /ˌkwɑ səˈmoʊ doʊ, -zəˈmoʊ-; Italian ˌkwɑ ziˈmɔ dɔ/
[sahl-vah-taw-re] /ˌsɑl vɑˈtɔ rɛ/ (Show IPA),
1901–68, Italian poet: Nobel prize 1959. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Quasimodo
Historical Examples
  • Quasimodo appeared to linger upon every note as though he loved it and could not part with it.

    Glories of Spain Charles W. Wood
  • An old woman explained to Coppenole that Quasimodo was deaf.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • As for the mysterious disappearance of Quasimodo, this is all that we have been able to discover.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • So Quasimodo had fifteen bells in his seraglio; but big Marie was his favorite.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • Quasimodo conceals her for a time in the church, but after various adventures she is gibbeted.

  • Now, to give the big bell in marriage to Quasimodo was to give Juliet to Romeo.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • While Quasimodo was dealing with the ladder, the scholar had run to the postern which he believed to be open.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • In 1482, Quasimodo was about twenty years of age; Claude Frollo, about thirty-six.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • Every moment she discovered some fresh deformity in Quasimodo.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • Quasimodo was too deaf to hear all these gracious things, and Claude was too dreamy.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for Quasimodo


another name for Low Sunday
a character in Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), a grotesque hunch-backed bellringer of the cathedral of Notre Dame
(Italian) (kwaˈziːmodo). Salvatore (salvaˈtoːre). 1901–68, Italian poet, whose early work expresses symbolist ideas and techniques. His later work is more concerned with political and social issues: Nobel prize for literature 1959
Word Origin
(sense 1) from the opening words of the Latin introit for that day, quasimodo geniti infantes as new-born babies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Quasimodo



"Low Sunday," 1706, Quasimodo Sunday, from Latin quasi modo, first words of introit for the first Sunday after Easter: quasi modo geniti infantes "as newborn babes" (1 Pet. ii:2). The hunchback in Victor Hugo's novel was supposed to have been abandoned as an infant at Notre Dame on this day, hence his name. For first element, see quasi; for second see mode (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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