[jawn-tee, jahn-]

adjective, jaun·ti·er, jaun·ti·est.

easy and sprightly in manner or bearing: to walk with a jaunty step.
smartly trim, as clothing: a jaunty hat.

Origin of jaunty

1655–65; earlier jentee, juntee < French gentil noble, gentle, genteel with ending taken as -y1
Related formsjaun·ti·ly, adverbjaun·ti·ness, nounun·jaun·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jaunty

Contemporary Examples of jaunty

Historical Examples of jaunty

  • It was during his captivity here that he first lost hope; his hair turned gray and his trim, jaunty cavalier air forsook him.

    In Unfamiliar England

    Thomas Dowler Murphy

  • Upon his head was a jaunty cloth cap, from beneath which flowed a quantity of fine, curly hair.

  • In a jaunty way, he sported his hat on one side of his head, and moved as proudly as if going off to a bargain of millions.

    Fighting the Sea

    Edward A. Rand

  • He was a dandy from the soles of his shiny elastic-side boots to the crown of his jaunty hard-hitter.

    Tropic Days

    E. J. Banfield

  • It was perfectly tailored and Miss Barrett even had the jaunty little beret fitted snugly over her carefully marcelled hair.

British Dictionary definitions for jaunty


adjective -tier or -tiest

sprightly, self-confident, and cheerful; briska jaunty step
smart; trima jaunty hat
Derived Formsjauntily, adverbjauntiness, noun

Word Origin for jaunty

C17: from French gentil noble; see genteel
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

Word Origin and History for jaunty

1660s, "elegant, stylish," from French gentil "nice, pleasing," in Old French "noble" (see gentle). Form reflects attempt to render the French pronunciation of gentil. Meaning "easy and sprightly in manner" first attested 1670s. Related: Jauntily; jauntiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper