Definition of quirk in US English:

quirk

noun

  • 1A peculiar behavioral habit.

    ‘his distaste for travel is an endearing quirk’
    • ‘You feel you get to know all the characters and their quirks, the island and its people, and the magic and superstitions come to life in an burst of colour.’
    • ‘There are too many peculiarities and quirks of the hardware, and drivers are hard to come by.’
    • ‘It is as extraordinary and unique as the artist himself, full of all the quirks, oddities and jokes that make him such a national treasure.’
    • ‘The acting is good, with nobody working too hard at their character's quirks.’
    • ‘His skits or character quirks aren't as funny the second time around.’
    • ‘When attempts are made to individualize the characters, their personality quirks seem half-hearted and copied from any number of other war movies.’
    • ‘Every commander also has pet peeves, quirks, and peculiarities.’
    • ‘Completely inhabiting his character's traits and quirks, he is tailor made for the role.’
    • ‘Some critics even contend that too many characteristics or quirks are being pathologized - labeled abnormal - to make money.’
    • ‘These characters' personal quirks are as colorful and various as their day jobs.’
    • ‘The smart screenplay lends itself to the character quirks that make them seem more human.’
    • ‘She could have written a flow chart of editors' quirks, reporters' abilities, and the power dynamics of management - all within her first two months in the office.’
    • ‘In this book, we are treated to numerous such sketches that accurately illustrate many of the behavioral quirks of grebes, some of which are nearly impossible to capture on film.’
    • ‘Crucially it reveals the quirks in our behaviour that marketers are desperate to gain an insight into.’
    • ‘I've been wondering if you put some part of yourself, be that some weird idiosyncrasy, quirks, etc, into the characters you create.’
    • ‘He rightly concentrates on the particular textures and quirks of the characters rather than on the scenery.’
    • ‘But you've got those quirks that make you endearing’
    • ‘Common sense applied to the particular behavioral quirks of your child is probably your best bet.’
    • ‘It's very odd knowing that people are watching me for little obsessive-compulsive quirks now, even though I'm pretty much all better.’
    • ‘However, I have a big problem with people using similar versions of my character names, character quirks, story titles, plot summaries, and memorable plot events.’
    idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity, foible, whim, whimsy, notion, conceit, vagary, caprice, fancy, kink, crotchet, mannerism, habit, characteristic, trait, feature, obsession, fad
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    1. 1.1 A strange chance occurrence.
      ‘a strange quirk of fate had led her to working for Nathan’
      • ‘Another strange pedestrian quirk is the proliferation of underpasses in the city.’
      • ‘Instead of that he was a victim of the strange quirks that the proportional representation system continues to throw up.’
      • ‘It was a strange quirk of fate that the Queen who had ordered the crushing of O'Neill did not live to see his submission as she died six days earlier, on March 25th 1603.’
      • ‘As I look at this photo of her as a young woman, I can't help but ponder the strange quirks of genetics.’
      • ‘In one of those strange quirks of mathematical fate, Möbius was not actually the first to discover or describe the object.’
      chance, fluke, freak, anomaly, unusual occurrence, turn, peculiar turn of events, twist, twist of fate
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    2. 1.2 A sudden twist, turn, or curve.
      ‘wry humor put a slight quirk in his mouth’
      • ‘There are some twists and quirks that also remind me of that admittedly better comedy, but still served to make me like this one.’
      • ‘His nose was hawkish but it suited him, as did the high cheekbones and cynical quirk of his mouth.’
      • ‘She put her hands on her hips, a slight quirk in her lips.’
      • ‘The quirk to her mouth says she knows the answer.’
      • ‘She felt the corners of her mouth quirk slightly, tried to say his name, then fell into the darkness that had been waiting for her.’
      • ‘His mouth quirks, and his eyes flash with what might be amusement.’
      • ‘The side of my mouth quirks up a little at the question’
      • ‘Michael's mouth quirks, and he raises his eyebrows.’
      • ‘The slightest of quirks tugged at the woman's lips before she nodded, then turned away.’
      • ‘She raised an eyebrow at me, and there was a funny quirk in her mouth.’
  • 2Architecture
    An acute hollow between convex or other moldings.

    • ‘That splendid, rambling rectory with its quirks, quorns and corbel tables, beyond the graveyard, had gone, and so, for that matter, had the graveyard itself.’

verb

  • (with reference to a person's mouth or eyebrow) move or twist suddenly, especially to express surprise or amusement.

    • ‘Her lips quirked upwards in something resembling a smile.’
    • ‘She examines him, a corner of her lips quirking in a twisted smile.’
    • ‘The corner of Tristan's lips quirked, but he nodded his approval.’
    • ‘Despite the circumstances, Delia's lips quirked in a grin.’
    • ‘Leya nodded absently, staring at the photographs, her lips quirking into a smirk.’
    • ‘Her lips quirked as she glanced from them back to Robbie.’
    • ‘Chris snorted, his lips quirking into an amused smile.’
    • ‘His lip quirked in a smile but he quickly smothered it.’
    • ‘I smiled up at him, and his lips quirked up as well.’
    • ‘Allen watched the two in mild amusement, brow quirked.’
    • ‘There is an amused glimmer to his eyes and his lips quirk upwards, as if he is laughing at a private joke.’
    • ‘Alec's lips quirked up at that but he ignored my comment.’
    • ‘Rafe's lips quirked and I knew that he wasn't mad anymore.’
    • ‘‘Not exactly,’ Aidan replied, her lips quirking into a grin.’
    • ‘Chantelle's lip quirked upwards in one corner with amusement and thanks.’
    • ‘‘Adorable is it?’ Kyle asked, the smile forming on his lips and eyebrow quirking up in question.’
    • ‘His lips quirked slightly, showing his amusement at her bland humor.’
    • ‘A hint of a dimple showed in one cheek as her lips quirked in amusement.’
    • ‘Bernard's lips quirked, but he did not smile back.’
    • ‘Dan's pale green eyes locked on his as soon as he had fully turned, the man's mouth quirking in amusement.’
    twist, screw up, distort
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Origin

Early 16th century (as a verb): of unknown origin. The early sense of the noun was ‘subtle verbal twist, quibble’, later ‘unexpected twist’.

Pronunciation

quirk

/kwərk//kwərk/