V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. old-fashioned in a charming way; 2. strange or unusual in character or appearance, but usually in a pleasing or interesting way

Synonyms: old-fashioned, picturesque, cute, enchanting, antique, strange, odd, bizarre, offbeat, uncommon, unique

Antonyms: conventional, ordinary, usual

Tips: Quaint came into English via the Old French word cointe, or queinte, meaning “clever.” It now means unusual, old-fashioned, or cute because in the 18th century the word was losing its popularity. So, people would use "quaint" to say, "that's like the word quaint --unusual and not heard very much anymore." So, the word picked up a new meaning and new popularity. Now, quaint is almost always used to describe an old and charming cabin, house, bed and breakfast, hotel etc. The word is used often in this context, but most people do not know the word's original use, but now you do.

Usage Examples:

She loved to vacation at the cottage because it had such a quaint, rustic charm. (cute, old-fashioned)

I bought the earrings at a quaint, little boutique in the village. (offbeat, unique)

Her manner of speaking is quaint, and I quite enjoy her unusual diction. (uncommon, offbeat)

The teacher's quaint fashion sense makes her students giggle and point behind her back. (old-fashioned, strange)

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