- having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
- strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
- skillfully or cleverly made.
- Obsolete. wise; skilled.
Origin of quaint
Examples from the Web for quaintly
Nothing in Shesol's study reads as quaintly as Johnson's concern for the good opinion of "intellectuals."David's Bookclub: Mutual Contempt
April 28, 2013
This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries.Washington Goes Platinum
January 8, 2013
Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA as it used to quaintly be called, says Martin McGuinness will shake Queen's hand.Queen and Irish Nationalist WILL Shake Hands
June 22, 2012
His is the only story that has a chance this week of knocking climate change off what are still, quaintly, called the front pages.A Skeptic's Guide to Copenhagen
December 6, 2009
"In his own parish in particular," quaintly added John Effingham.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
He discovered her quaintly with a jar of pickled frogs in her hand.The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
There were tables and chairs of earth-style, quaintly old-fashioned.The World Beyond
Raymond King Cummings
"Troth, you're the only gentleman of my acquaintance," said Freney, quaintly.The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. I (of II)
Charles James Lever
“Verily I guessed so much, for his eyes be in your head,” said Barbara quaintly.Clare Avery
Emily Sarah Holt
- attractively unusual, esp in an old-fashioned stylea quaint village
- odd, peculiar, or inappropriatea quaint sense of duty
Word Origin and History for quaintly
c.1200, cointe, "cunning, ingenious; proud," from Old French cointe "knowledgeable, well-informed; clever; arrogant, proud; elegant, gracious," from Latin cognitus "known, approved," past participle of cognoscere "get or come to know well" (see cognizance). Modern spelling is from early 14c.
Later in English, "elaborate, skillfully made" (c.1300); "strange and clever" (mid-14c.). Sense of "old-fashioned but charming" is first attested 1795, and could describe the word itself, which had become rare after c.1700 (though it soon recovered popularity in this secondary sense). Related: Quaintly; quaintness.