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[kwiz-i-kuh l] /ˈkwɪz ɪ kəl/
odd, queer, or comical.
questioning or puzzled:
a quizzical expression on her face.
derisively questioning, ridiculing, or chaffing.
Origin of quizzical
First recorded in 1790-1800; quiz + -ical
Related forms
quizzicality, quizzicalness, noun
quizzically, adverb
unquizzical, adjective
unquizzically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quizzical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And now, once again, there was a hint of the quizzical creeping in the smile.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Now, he stared at Burke with a quizzical grin crooking his lips.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • "I was so anxious about you," she replied, with feeling, and then broke into a quizzical laugh.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • Rathburn looked through the front windows with a quizzical smile on his lips.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • He turned to cast a quizzical glance at the back of the resentful lover.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • Then he turned to me with a bantering, quizzical light in his eyes.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
British Dictionary definitions for quizzical


questioning and mocking or supercilious: a quizzical look
Derived Forms
quizzicality, noun
quizzically, adverb
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 quizzical

1789, from quiz "odd or eccentric person" (1782), of unknown origin (see quiz (n.)) + -ical. Related: Quizzically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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