A Word A Day : Quaint

Sunday, 6th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : kwa-ynt


1. Charmingly odd, especially in an old-fashioned way

2. Unfamiliar or unusual in character

3. Cleverly made

4. Attractively old-fashioned (but not necessarily authentic)

5. Strange in an interesting or pleasing way


12th century - Via Old French cointe, queinte - clever - Latin cognit - past participle of cognoscere - get to know


old-fashioned, old-world, picturesque, charming, pretty, antiquated, attractive, appealing, strange, peculiar, odd, curious, bizarre, weird, extraordinary, unusual


normal, ordinary, modern

Contextual Examples:

• Sarah Orne Jewett was dismissed by one critic as merely a New England old maid who wrote quaint, plotless sketches of late 19th-century coastal Maine.

• A quaint village was nestled in the valley between two tall mountains.

• It is but a month since they were married and the rice still lingers in the crevices of the pathway down to the quaint old iron-work gate.

• Much will strike the reader as quaint and limited but upon much the writer may not unreasonably plume himself.

Related Words:

quaintness : Noun

quaintly : Adverb

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