quaint

[kweynt]
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.

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 for quaint

Antonyms for quaint

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

Examples from the Web for quaintly

Contemporary Examples of quaintly

  • Nothing in Shesol's study reads as quaintly as Johnson's concern for the good opinion of "intellectuals."

    The Daily Beast logo
    David's Bookclub: Mutual Contempt

    David Frum

    April 28, 2013

  • This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Washington Goes Platinum

    Megan McArdle

    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.

  • His is the only story that has a chance this week of knocking climate change off what are still, quaintly, called the front pages.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Skeptic's Guide to Copenhagen

    Tunku Varadarajan

    December 6, 2009

Historical Examples of quaintly

  • "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
Derived Formsquaintly, adverbquaintness, noun

Word Origin for quaint

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper