1. a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism: He is full of strange quirks.
  2. a shift, subterfuge, or evasion; quibble.
  3. a sudden twist or turn: He lost his money by a quirk of fate.
  4. a flourish or showy stroke, as in writing.
  5. Architecture.
    1. an acute angle or channel, as one dividing two parts of a molding or one dividing a flush bead from the adjoining surfaces.
    2. an area taken from a larger area, as a room or a plot of ground.
    3. an enclosure for this area.
  6. Obsolete. a clever or witty remark; quip.
  1. formed with a quirk or channel, as a molding.

Origin of quirk

First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain
Can be confusedquark quirk

Synonyms for quirk

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

British Dictionary definitions for quirker


  1. an individual peculiarity of character; mannerism or foible
  2. an unexpected twist or turna quirk of fate
  3. a continuous groove in an architectural moulding
  4. a flourish, as in handwriting
Derived Formsquirky, adjectivequirkily, adverbquirkiness, noun

Word Origin for quirk

C16: of unknown origin
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 quirker



1560s, "quibble, evasion," of unknown origin, perhaps connected to German quer (see queer (adj.)) via notion of twisting and slanting; but its earliest appearance in western England dialect seems to argue against this source. Perhaps originally a technical term for a twist or flourish in weaving. Sense of "peculiarity" is c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper