Definitions for: Quaint


[adj] strange in an interesting or pleasing way; "quaint dialect words"; "quaint streets of New Orleans, that most foreign of American cities"
[adj] very strange or unusual; odd or even incongruous in character or appearance; "the head terminating in the quaint duck bill which gives the animal its vernacular name"- Bill Beatty; "came forth a quaint and fearful sight"- Sir Walter Scott; "a quaint sense of humor"
[adj] attractively old-fashioned (but not necessarily authentic); "houses with quaint thatched roofs"; "a vaulted roof supporting old-time chimney pots"



Webster (1913) Definition: Quaint, a. [OE. queint, queynte, coint, prudent, wise,
cunning, pretty, odd, OF. cointe cultivated, amiable,
agreeable, neat, fr. L. cognitus known, p. p. of cognoscere
to know; con + noscere (for gnoscere) to know. See Know,
and cf. Acquaint, Cognition.]
1. Prudent; wise; hence, crafty; artful; wily. [Obs.]

Clerks be full subtle and full quaint. --Chaucer.

2. Characterized by ingenuity or art; finely fashioned;
skillfully wrought; elegant; graceful; nice; neat.
[Archaic] `` The queynte ring.'' `` His queynte spear.''
--Chaucer. `` A shepherd young quaint.'' --Chapman.

Every look was coy and wondrous quaint. --Spenser.

To show bow quaint an orator you are. --Shak.

3. Curious and fanciful; affected; odd; whimsical; antique;
archaic; singular; unusual; as, quaint architecture; a
quaint expression.

Some stroke of quaint yet simple pleasantry.
--Macaulay.

An old, long-faced, long-bodied servant in quaint
livery. --W. Irving.

Syn: Quaint, Odd, Antique.

Usage: Antique is applied to that which has come down from
the ancients, or which is made to imitate some ancient
work of art. Odd implies disharmony, incongruity, or
unevenness. An odd thing or person is an exception to
general rules of calculation and procedure, or
expectation and common experience. In the current use
of quaint, the two ideas of odd and antique are
combined, and the word is commonly applied to that
which is pleasing by reason of both these qualities.
Thus, we speak of the quaint architecture of many old
buildings in London; or a quaint expression, uniting
at once the antique and the fanciful.

Synonyms: fashionable, olde worlde, old-time, strange, stylish, unusual

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Famous Quotes Containing Quaint:


Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down you'd treat if met where any bar is, or help to half-a-crown.

-- Thomas Hardy (English Novelist)

Being briefed only once is a quaint defense. You're either briefed or not briefed.

-- Mark Davis (American Writer)

Medieval justice was a quaint thing.

-- Frederick Pollock (English Judge)

The fact is popular art dates. It grows quaint. How many people feel strongly about Gilbert and Sullivan today compared to those who felt strongly in 1890?

-- Stephen Sondheim (American Composer)


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