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Borrowed from Spanish Quixote, the surname of Don Quixote, the titular character in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, +‎ -ic.



quixotic (comparative more quixotic, superlative most quixotic)

  1. Possessing or acting with the desire to do noble and romantic deeds, without thought of realism and practicality; exceedingly idealistic.
    • 1911, G. K. Chesterton, “The Sign of the Broken Sword”, in 'The Innocence of Father Brown':
      Olivier, as you know, was quixotic, and would not permit a secret service and spies.
  2. Impulsive.
  3. Like Don Quixote; romantic to extravagance; absurdly chivalric; apt to be deluded.

Usage notes[edit]

Although the term is derived from the name of the character Don Quixote, the letters qu and x are both read as is usual for English spelling (/kw/ and /ks/), possibly due to analogy with exotic. In "Don Quixote", by contrast, the pronunciation more closely resembles the modern Spanish (/k/ and /h~x/).

Derived terms[edit]


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