Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

quaint

[kweynt]
See more synonyms for quaint on Thesaurus.com
adjective, quaint·er, quaint·est.
  1. having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
  2. strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
  3. skillfully or cleverly made.
  4. Obsolete. wise; skilled.
Show More

Origin of quaint

1175–1225; Middle English queinte < Old French, variant of cointe clever, pleasing ≪ Latin cognitus known (past participle of cognōscere; see cognition)
Related formsquaint·ly, adverbquaint·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for quaint on Thesaurus.com
1. antiquated, archaic. 2. curious, uncommon.

Antonyms

2. ordinary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quaintly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "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.

  • “Verily I guessed so much, for his eyes be in your head,” said Barbara quaintly.

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt


British Dictionary definitions for quaintly

quaint

adjective
  1. attractively unusual, esp in an old-fashioned stylea quaint village
  2. odd, peculiar, or inappropriatea quaint sense of duty
Show More
Derived Formsquaintly, adverbquaintness, noun

Word Origin

C13 (in the sense: clever): from Old French cointe, from Latin cognitus known, from cognoscere to ascertain
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 quaintly

quaint

adj.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper