• synonyms


  1. a riding whip consisting of a short, stout stock and a lash of braided leather.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to strike with a quirt.
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Origin of quirt

1835–45, Americanism; perhaps < Spanish cuerda cord
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quirt

Historical Examples

  • He headed him into the open, laid the quirt to him, and galloped toward the hills.

    The Duke Of Chimney Butte

    G. W. Ogden

  • Before he could reply, she rose in her stirrups and pointed ahead with her quirt.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • She stood in her saddle habit, with her quirt still in hand.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman

  • They passed close—so close I could have reached out an' touched 'em with my quirt.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • Wadley's quirt burned the flank of the cow-pony and it leaped for the road.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for quirt


  1. a whip with a leather thong at one end
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verb (tr)
  1. to strike with a quirt
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Word Origin

C19: from Spanish cuerda cord
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 quirt


"short-handled braided leather riding whip," 1845, from Mexican Spanish cuarta "rope," related to Spanish cuerda "rope," from Latin corda (see cord (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper