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whimsical

[hwim-zi-kuh l, wim-]
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adjective
  1. given to whimsy or fanciful notions; capricious: a pixyish, whimsical fellow.
  2. of the nature of or proceeding from whimsy, as thoughts or actions: Her writing showed whimsical notions of human behavior.
  3. erratic; unpredictable: He was too whimsical with regard to his work.
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Origin of whimsical

First recorded in 1645–55; whims(y) + -ical
Related formswhim·si·cal·ly, adverbun·whim·si·cal, adjectiveun·whim·si·cal·ly, adverbun·whim·si·cal·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whimsical

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mary rejoined, with a whimsical pout, as she seated herself.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He realized its hopelessness when K. lapsed into whimsical humor.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • All of which is an easy logic, but a whimsical enough way of putting it.

  • With a whimsical shake of the head Coryston returned to his chair.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • Gilbert exclaimed, looking up at Henry with a whimsical smile.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for whimsical

whimsical

adjective
  1. spontaneously fanciful or playful
  2. given to whims; capricious
  3. quaint, unusual, or fantastic
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Derived Formswhimsicality (ˌwɪmzɪˈkælɪtɪ), nounwhimsically, adverbwhimsicalness, noun
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 whimsical

adj.

1650s, from whimsy. Related: Whimsically.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper