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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quizzically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "May be she seems fairer, being strange," I hinted, quizzically.

    The God of Love Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Miss Carrington looked at Macloud, quizzically, but made no comment.

    In Her Own Right John Reed Scott
  • He regarded Holden quizzically to see how the last phases affected him.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The latter looked at him quizzically for a time, rubbing his chin with a finger.

  • "You speak as though you had some forebodings regarding Tomba, or Tomba and his friend," smiled Hal quizzically.

  • Bud looked at her quizzically for a moment, and then seemed to recede into thought.

    The Free Range Francis William Sullivan
  • Tommy regarded her quizzically, opened her mouth to speak, then closed her lips.

  • The girls looked at him quizzically, for they thought he was joking.

    Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • Harley glanced at me quizzically, but said nothing until the Cinderella came stumbling downstairs again.

    Tales of Chinatown Sax Rohmer
British Dictionary definitions for quizzically


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 quizzically



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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