Shortened from acute, originally “keenly perceptive or discerning, shrewd” (1731). Meaning transferred to “pretty, fetching” by US students (slang) c.1834. Meaning drifted further to associate specifically with the pleasing attraction to features usually possessed by the young.
- Possessing physical features, behaviors, personality traits or other properties that are mainly attributed to infants and small or cuddly animals; e.g. fair, dainty, round, and soft physical features, disproportionately large eyes and head, playfulness, fragility, helplessness, curiosity or shyness, innocence, affectionate behavior.
- Our reaction to cute attributes is understood as the way nature ensures mammals care for their young.
- Generally, attractive or pleasing, especially in a youthful, dainty, quaint or fun-spirited way.
- Let's go to the mall and look for cute girls.
- Emma is so damn cute.
- Affected or contrived to charm; mincingly clever; precious; cutesy.
- The actor's performance was too cute for me. All that mugging to the audience killed the humor.
- Don't get cute with me, boy!
- Mentally keen or discerning; clever; shrewd; see acute.
- Cute trick, but can you do it consistently?
From Latin cutis.
cute f (plural cuti)
- ablative singular of cutis
From Latin cōs, cotem.