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  1. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.
  2. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.
  3. (sometimes initial capital letter) resembling or befitting Don Quixote.
Sometimes quix·ot·i·cal.

Origin of quixotic

First recorded in 1805–15; (Don) Quixote + -ic
Related formsquix·ot·i·cal·ly, adverbhalf-quix·ot·ic, adjectivehalf-quix·ot·i·cal·ly, adverbun·quix·ot·ic, adjectiveun·quix·ot·i·cal, adjectiveun·quix·ot·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for quixotic

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

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British Dictionary definitions for quixotic


  1. preoccupied with an unrealistically optimistic or chivalrous approach to life; impractically idealistic
Derived Formsquixotically, adverbquixotism (ˈkwɪksəˌtɪzəm), noun

Word Origin for quixotic

C18: after Don Quixote
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 quixotic

"extravagantly chivalrous," 1791, from Don Quixote, romantic, impractical hero of Cervantes' satirical novel "Don Quixote de la Mancha" (1605; English translation by 1620). His name literally means "thigh," also "a cuisse" (a piece of armor for the thigh), in Modern Spanish quijote, from Latin coxa "hip." Related: Quixotical; quixotically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper