[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

  • There was something soldierly in his bearing, and he wore a jaunty cap and jacket.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • But once he came up out of the cabin with a jaunty feather in his hat.

  • He was cool and jaunty, his hands in his pockets, a rose in his buttonhole.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • She tried to be jaunty, but the jauntiness did not ring quite true.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • To conceal my nervousness I tried to affect an air of jaunty composure.

    The Cryptogram

    William Murray Graydon

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