Share this entry

Share this page

jaunty

Line breaks: jaunty
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɔːnti
 
/

Definition of jaunty in English:

adjective (jauntier, jauntiest)

Having or expressing a lively, cheerful, and self-confident manner: there was no mistaking that jaunty walk
More example sentences
  • Why does my hair, which is short on top and usually stands up in a jaunty sort of manner at home, go flat whenever I go to London?
  • She had a jaunty manner… but there was more than that to be noticed about Miss Stuart.
  • He casually walked down the stairs, humming a jaunty tune to himself as he did so.
Synonyms
cheerful, cheery, happy, merry, jolly, joyful, gleeful, glad;
carefree, unworried, untroubled, without a care in the world, blithe, airy, light-hearted, nonchalant, insouciant, happy-go-lucky, free and easy, easy-going, blasé, devil-may-care, casual, relaxed
informal bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of beans, sparky, upbeat, go-go, chirpy, chipper, peppy, zippy, zappy, full of vim and vigour
North American informal peart
dated gay

Origin

mid 17th century (in the sense 'well-bred, genteel'): from French gentil (see gentle1, genteel).

More
  • gentle from (Middle English):

    The root word shared by genteel (late 16th century), gentile (Late Middle English) ‘not Jewish’, and gentle is Latin gentilis ‘of a family or nation, of the same clan’, which came from gens ‘family, race’. Genteel and gentle originally had similar meanings. Genteel first meant ‘stylish, fashionable’, and ‘well bred’—the ironic or derogatory implications that it now tends to have date from the 19th century. The original sense of gentle was ‘nobly born’, from which came ‘courteous, chivalrous’, the idea behind gentleman (Middle English). See also blonde. Jaunty (mid 17th century) is an anglicization of the French for gentle, gentil and was first used to mean ‘gentile’.

Derivatives

jauntily

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • It made me dream of becoming a huge movie star, so I could stop on the red carpet at his microphone, wait for a question, pause, tilt my head wordlessly and then jauntily just walk on by.
  • He leaned jauntily against the wall, wearing a red shirt with white sleeves cinched by thin strips of leather, and black pants, and he stood 5 feet and 10 inches tall, only a little taller than her.
  • At the door, the two best friends chatted a bit, then Marina departed for home, swinging her case jauntily, and humming the prelude from earlier, not really paying attention to anything.

jauntiness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Young men about town, rushing back to the country to see their sweethearts would leap from the train, hoping to kick-start a jauntiness that would see them through their reunion.
  • Nestling between the whimsical jauntiness of the main refrain, there is even a hint of real wistfulness in the ‘Uncle Bulgaria’ verse.
  • When Pierre and I go our separate ways, a day later, we are still incredulous at what we've seen and as he walks toward his plane to Paris, there is a fresh jauntiness in his step.

Words that rhyme with jaunty

flaunty

Definition of jaunty in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…