quaint [kweynt] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin adjective, quaint·er, quaint·est.

  1. having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
  2. strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
  3. skillfully or cleverly made.
  4. Obsolete. wise; skilled.

Origin of quaint 1175–1225; Middle English queinte Old French, variant of cointe clever, pleasing ≪ Latin cognitus known (past participle of cognōscere; see cognition)Related formsquaint·ly, adverbquaint·ness, nounSynonyms for quaint 1. antiquated, archaic. 2. curious, uncommon.Antonyms for quaint 2. ordinary. Examples from the Web for quaintly Contemporary Examples of quaintly

  • Nothing in Shesol’s study reads as quaintly as Johnson’s concern for the good opinion of “intellectuals.”

    David’s Bookclub: Mutual Contempt

    David Frum

    April 28, 2013

  • This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries.

    Washington Goes Platinum

    Megan McArdle

    January 8, 2013

  • Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA as it used to quaintly be called, says Martin McGuinness will shake Queen’s hand.

    Queen and Irish Nationalist WILL Shake Hands

    Tom Sykes

    June 22, 2012

  • His is the only story that has a chance this week of knocking climate change off what are still, quaintly, called the front pages.

    A Skeptic’s Guide to Copenhagen

    Tunku Varadarajan

    December 6, 2009

  • Historical Examples of quaintly

  • “In his own parish in particular,” quaintly added John Effingham.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • He discovered her quaintly with a jar of pickled frogs in her hand.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • There were tables and chairs of earth-style, quaintly old-fashioned.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

  • “Troth, you’re the only gentleman of my acquaintance,” said Freney, quaintly.

    The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. I (of II)

    Charles James Lever

  • “Verily I guessed so much, for his eyes be in your head,” said Barbara quaintly.

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • British Dictionary definitions for quaintly quaint adjective

    1. attractively unusual, esp in an old-fashioned stylea quaint village
    2. odd, peculiar, or inappropriatea quaint sense of duty

    Derived Formsquaintly, adverbquaintness, nounWord Origin for quaint C13 (in the sense: clever): from Old French cointe, from Latin cognitus known, from cognoscere to ascertain Word Origin and History for quaintly quaint adj.

    c.1200, cointe, “cunning, ingenious; proud,” from Old French cointe “knowledgeable, well-informed; clever; arrogant, proud; elegant, gracious,” from Latin cognitus “known, approved,” past participle of cognoscere “get or come to know well” (see cognizance). Modern spelling is from early 14c.

    Later in English, “elaborate, skillfully made” (c.1300); “strange and clever” (mid-14c.). Sense of “old-fashioned but charming” is first attested 1795, and could describe the word itself, which had become rare after c.1700 (though it soon recovered popularity in this secondary sense). Related: Quaintly; quaintness.

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