Definition of curlicue in English:

curlicue

(also curlycue)

noun

  • A decorative curl or twist in calligraphy or in the design of an object.

    • ‘He dips and turns and makes curlicues with his arms.’
    • ‘I guess I've always thoughtlessly assumed they were decorative, like curlicues and friezes.’
    • ‘There are parchments of painstaking calligraphy, replete with fabulous swirls and curlicues, and magic carpets wider than the Bosphorus.’
    • ‘The walls were panelled in wood, the floor covered in carpets decorated with curlicues to rival any Persian rug.’
    • ‘If you think baroque is all about curlicues and foofaraws, Rome is the place to learn otherwise.’
    • ‘An elaborate mantelpiece framed the hearth in a dizzying array of swirls and curlicues, and a tall grandfather clock lurked in the corner like a brooding sentry, counting out the seconds with a gloomy tock, tock, tock.’
    • ‘He eyes critically the curlicues the hairdresser has snipped into his foliage.’
    • ‘Unless you're cuckoo for curlicues, you may wonder the same thing.’
    • ‘The sign screwed to the brickwork was in stiff English capitals and the curlicues beneath were Bengali.’
    • ‘It was a proper printing job, the title words adorned with elegant curlicues.’
    • ‘Heavens, that seal consists of enough flourishes and curlicues to amaze the eye - yet that design also contains within it tremendous tautness and discipline, as a piece of design.’
    • ‘The voice is always in evidence, of course, but it's in public that it becomes shaped, like a piece of music, and one almost consciously listens for all the gilded glissandoes, the curlicues of wit, the velvet pauses.’
    • ‘Third, the apostrophes are curlicues of the sort produced by word processors on personal computers, not the straight vertical hashmarks typical of typewriters.’
    • ‘There was a vast expanse of marble slabbed flooring, all green and cream swirls, and lots of polished wood with carved curlicues.’
    • ‘Red carpets flow up sumptuous staircases and the walls erupt in cornices and curlicues.’
    • ‘Her hair, the color of a late-autumn leaf, curlicues straight down her neck.’
    • ‘The black paintwork was decorated with gold lines and curlicues like an Edwardian dandy's carriage.’
    • ‘An accompanying tower of sweet potatoes separated with parsnip purée and bedecked with haricots verts is downright dapper, as is a spray of crunchy shaved parsnip curlicues.’
    • ‘From one perspective, the looping appendages and curving elements suggest the handles and decorative curlicues of a Rococo urn.’
    • ‘They have one trunk only, and short branches, and their leaves adorn these little branches like curlicues.’
    spiral, coil, wreath, twirl, swirl, furl, twist, corkscrew, whorl, helix, gyre
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: from curly + cue (in the sense ‘pigtail’), or -cue representing the letter q.

Pronunciation

curlicue

/ˈkərlēˌkyo͞o//ˈkərliˌkju/