QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE MANY TYPES OF NOUNS
historical usage of quixotic
By 1644 Quixote was used as a common noun, that is, “a person inspired by lofty and chivalrous but impractical ideals.” The derivative adjective quixotic, which applies to both persons and actions, appears in the first half of the 18th century. Quixotic has always been ambivalent in its meaning, whether “extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary or impractical,” or “impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.”
The original 17th-century spelling that Cervantes used was Quixote, at that time pronounced kiˈshoʊ-ti (French Quichotte and Italian Chisciotte still maintain the sh- sound). In 1815 the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) officially changed the spellings of words with x to j to match the change of the sh- sound to the modern Castilian x- sound, as in Johann Sebastian Bach (bɑx) or the Scots pronunciation of loch (lɒx).
To an American ear, the Don in Don Quixote may come across as the man’s first name, but that is certainly not the case here. In Spanish, don is used as a title of respect and as a common noun meaning “gentleman,” a most appropriate description for Cervantes’ iconic hero. Don, which ultimately derives from Latin dominus “lord, master,” is also familiar as the courtesy title of the head of a crime family or syndicate, especially the Mafia (as in Don Corleone). Don evokes courtesy and respect in England as well, where it is used colloquially at Oxbridge for a head, fellow, or tutor of a college.
OTHER WORDS FROM quixotic
Words nearby quixotic
Example sentences from the Web for quixotic
This broad group of politically homeless citizens is a tribe trying to transcend tribalism—and while that may sound quixotic, that is the story of America.Eight in Ten Americans are Concerned About Partisanship. Here's How 'The Unum Test' Can Reunite America|Jonathan Haidt|April 13, 2021|Time
Though that may be true, his book proves that the quixotic search for linguistic purity can still lead us back to the rough ground of biology.
The pair were the only survivors of a quixotic five-person expedition to an Arctic island, with hopes of claiming the land for Canada.The Woman Who Survived Two Years Alone in the Arctic|Fiona Zublin|December 9, 2020|Ozy
Some of his political actions can, in retrospect, seem quixotic, but they speak to an admirable courage of conviction.Nigeria’s Larger-Than-Life Nobel Laureate Chronicles a Fascinating Life|Chimamanda Adichie|August 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Dana has become increasingly quixotic through the years,” a GOP Hill source lamented to the Beast.Meet The Putin-Loving Congressman Who’s Worried About Fluoride In Our Drinking Water|James Kirchick|July 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Resolve that this can and should be the year that zero preschoolers go hungry based on your quixotic grandstanding.
Of course, his quixotic crusade to defund Obamacare will surely fail, but it made for some good TV.Highlight Reel: 11 Craziest Moments From Ted Cruz’s Quasi-Filibuster|Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast Video|September 25, 2013|DAILY BEAST
In November 2007, though, Dutschke seemed to realize his campaign was quixotic.
It was Quixotic, and two hundred years ago could scarcely have escaped the pen of some French Cervantes.
Success to you, but don't for a moment think of carrying out that quixotic plan you first mentioned.The Cromptons|Mary J. Holmes
The quixotic are rarely successful, and success is the measure by which everything is judged to-day.Spanish Life in Town and Country|L. Higgin and Eugne E. Street
Don Quixote was always doing generous but rather foolish things, and the adjective quixotic now describes this sort of action.Stories That Words Tell Us|Elizabeth O'Neill
She must not let herself be swept away by any quixotic sentiment.The Highgrader|William MacLeod Raine