Definition of quaint in English:



  • Attractively unusual or old-fashioned.

    ‘quaint country cottages’
    ‘a quaint old custom’
    • ‘Mostly the book's given over to the impossibly quaint eccentrics Edwin encounters in London.’
    • ‘Although this may be a polite and quaint custom, it is often of little use to the recipient.’
    • ‘This is one of those quaint traditions from the first days of the Parliament which still survive.’
    • ‘In my quaint way, I tend to believe that language is supposed to tell you something about the characters on screen.’
    • ‘After all, look how modern these quaint old institutions are becoming.’
    • ‘We have so many quaint old settler cottages as well as grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings.’
    • ‘This is a quaint old-fashioned shrub that is ideal for both town and country gardens.’
    • ‘Here the ritual of the election night is a quaint old-world tradition closer to pantomime than politics.’
    • ‘The set comprising chessmen placed on a board in wood has a quaint appearance.’
    • ‘The French names on the streets and the quaint old houses invite exploration into the history.’
    • ‘It's seriously repetitious, but still unique from the rest of the tracks, the piccolo playing is quaint.’
    • ‘The buildings vary between those that are old and quaint and new shopping developments.’
    • ‘Along the coast you'll also find a handful of quaint fishing harbours and some great seascapes.’
    • ‘Lytham is the more quaint, elegant area while St Annes has large hotels along the sea sand front and cheaper houses.’
    • ‘It was not until the next night in a quaint old bar in Amsterdam that the wonder of the whole trip hit me.’
    • ‘The town is charming and quaint, and real: more than just a tourist facade of Irish life.’
    • ‘Sadly, Fiona and her quaint highland village seem forever lost to him in the remote mists of time.’
    • ‘This is a film of warm sunshine in which townsfolk and tourists can happily stroll, enjoying quaint civic parades.’
    • ‘It's easy to walk through the village and just see old stone, quaint architecture and water.’
    • ‘Because as quaint as it may sound, some things are more important in life than money.’
    picturesque, charming, sweet, attractive, pleasantly old-fashioned, old-fashioned, old-world, toytown
    unusual, different, out of the ordinary, out of the way, unfamiliar, curious, eccentric, quirky, bizarre, zany, whimsical, fanciful, idiosyncratic, unconventional, outlandish, offbeat, off-centre
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Middle English: from Old French cointe, from Latin cognitus ‘ascertained’, past participle of cognoscere. The original sense was ‘wise, clever’, also ‘ingenious, cunningly devised’, hence ‘out of the ordinary’ and the current sense (late 18th century).