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quaint

[kweynt] /kweɪnt/
adjective, quainter, quaintest.
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
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English queinte < Old French, variant of cointe clever, pleasing ≪ Latin cognitus known (past participle of cognōscere; see cognition)
Related forms
quaintly, adverb
quaintness, noun
Synonyms
1. antiquated, archaic. 2. curious, uncommon.
Antonyms
2. ordinary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for quaint
  • She found the building quaint and historic; he thought it was just old.
  • She has a quaint morality, a narcissistic personality.
  • The notion of solitude seems quaint nowadays.
  • Newly arrived in a quaint mountain village, Emma longs for friends to play with.
  • It is a small island ringed by sandy beaches and populated by islanders who still speak a quaint French.
  • As we walked inside, we were covered by the quaint decor.
  • Hansen accompanies himself on an autoharp, a zither-like instrument, that adds a quaint flavor to his readings.
  • To the tourists, all this seems charmingly quaint.
  • Your quaint and simple logic has inspired me.
  • Two miles inland lies the quaint village of Bushmills, its narrow main street lined with old stone taverns and country inns.
British Dictionary definitions for quaint

quaint

/kweɪnt/
adjective
1.
attractively unusual, esp in an old-fashioned style a quaint village
2.
odd, peculiar, or inappropriate a quaint sense of duty
Derived Forms
quaintly, adverb
quaintness, noun
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: clever): from Old French cointe, from Latin cognitus known, from cognoscere to ascertain
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
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Word Origin and History for 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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