Definition of quirk in English:

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Pronunciation: /kwəːk/


1A peculiar aspect of a person’s character or behaviour: they accepted her attitude as one of her little quirks
More example sentences
  • Completely inhabiting his character's traits and quirks, he is tailor made for the role.
  • 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.
  • The acting is good, with nobody working too hard at their character's quirks.
idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity, foible, whim, whimsy, notion, conceit, vagary, caprice, fancy, kink, crotchet, mannerism, habit, characteristic, trait, feature, obsession, fad;
French idée fixe
informal hang-up, thing
rare singularity
1.1A strange chance occurrence: a strange quirk of fate had led her to working for Nathan
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • In one of those strange quirks of mathematical fate, Möbius was not actually the first to discover or describe the object.
  • As I look at this photo of her as a young woman, I can't help but ponder the strange quirks of genetics.
chance, fluke, freak, anomaly, unusual occurrence, turn, peculiar turn of events, twist, twist of fate
1.2A sudden twist, turn, or curve: wry humour put a slight quirk in his mouth
More example sentences
  • The slightest of quirks tugged at the woman's lips before she nodded, then turned away.
  • 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.
  • There are some twists and quirks that also remind me of that admittedly better comedy, but still served to make me like this one.
2 Architecture An acute hollow between convex or other mouldings.
Example sentences
  • 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.


(With reference to a person’s mouth or eyebrow) move or twist suddenly, especially to express surprise or amusement: [no object]: his lips quirked disbelievingly
More example sentences
  • A hint of a dimple showed in one cheek as her lips quirked in amusement.
  • Dan's pale green eyes locked on his as soon as he had fully turned, the man's mouth quirking in amusement.
  • ‘Adorable is it?’ Kyle asked, the smile forming on his lips and eyebrow quirking up in question.



Example sentences
  • The contexts are frequently quirkish, enigmatic and punctuated with improbable black ‘comedy’ and dark import.
  • All of this is done, not just with a smile but with a joke, for he has a quirkish sense of humour, not usually associated with men of his profession.
  • There was a quirkish smile on her face, and she laughed at herself.


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

Words that rhyme with quirk

berk, berserk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, kirk, lurk, mirk, murk, outwork, perk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quirk

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