[kwiz-i-kuh l]


odd, queer, or comical.
questioning or puzzled: a quizzical expression on her face.
derisively questioning, ridiculing, or chaffing.

Origin of quizzical

First recorded in 1790–1800; quiz + -ical
Related formsquiz·zi·cal·i·ty, quiz·zi·cal·ness, nounquiz·zi·cal·ly, adverbun·quiz·zi·cal, adjectiveun·quiz·zi·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quizzical

Contemporary Examples of quizzical

Historical Examples of quizzical

  • And now, once again, there was a hint of the quizzical creeping in the smile.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Now, he stared at Burke with a quizzical grin crooking his lips.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "I was so anxious about you," she replied, with feeling, and then broke into a quizzical laugh.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Rathburn looked through the front windows with a quizzical smile on his lips.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • He turned to cast a quizzical glance at the back of the resentful lover.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

British Dictionary definitions for quizzical



questioning and mocking or superciliousa quizzical look
Derived Formsquizzicality, nounquizzically, adverb
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 quizzical

1789, from quiz "odd or eccentric person" (1782), of unknown origin (see quiz (n.)) + -ical. Related: Quizzically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper