Why was clemency trending last week?


[kwurk] /kwɜrk/
a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism:
He is full of strange quirks.
a shift, subterfuge, or evasion; quibble.
a sudden twist or turn:
He lost his money by a quirk of fate.
a flourish or showy stroke, as in writing.
  1. an acute angle or channel, as one dividing two parts of a molding or one dividing a flush bead from the adjoining surfaces.
  2. an area taken from a larger area, as a room or a plot of ground.
  3. an enclosure for this area.
Obsolete. a clever or witty remark; quip.
formed with a quirk or channel, as a molding.
Origin of quirk
1540-50; origin uncertain
Can be confused
quark, quirk.
1. See eccentricity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quirk
  • Still, the quirk is more the rule than the exception for tennis players under pressure.
  • If these urges were confined purely to the founding generation, this would be a historical quirk.
  • The early arrival-albeit only by a minute-is due to a complex quirk of the leap-year calendar.
  • How remiss of me and an interesting quirk of academic isolation.
  • The survival of our village, and many others, is due to a quirk in history and to geography.
  • quirk displayed weapons that he said had been confiscated by unarmed officers during random searches.
  • It is a quirk of timing that he should face the scrutiny of a judiciary that so studiously ignored his predecessors.
  • The standard theory of bad moods is rooted in a psychological quirk known as ego depletion.
  • And, as it happens, it is turning out to be a rather sensible quirk.
  • It is also a quirk of geography compounded by economics.
British Dictionary definitions for quirk


an individual peculiarity of character; mannerism or foible
an unexpected twist or turn: a quirk of fate
a continuous groove in an architectural moulding
a flourish, as in handwriting
Derived Forms
quirky, adjective
quirkily, adverb
quirkiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
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 quirk

1560s, "quibble, evasion," of unknown origin, perhaps connected to German quer (see queer (adj.)) via notion of twisting and slanting; but its earliest appearance in western England dialect seems to argue against this source. Perhaps originally a technical term for a twist or flourish in weaving. Sense of "peculiarity" is c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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