What Are Some Unusual Words That Begin With the Letter "Q"?


Quick Answer

"Quixotic," quindecagon," "quodlibet" and "quagmire" are unusual words that begin with the letter "Q." The word "quixotic" is an adjective used to describe a person or concept that is extravagantly chivalrous, fanciful or impulsive based on an impractical sense of romanticism. The term is derived from the title character of the satirical novel "Don Quixote of La Mancha," and it originated from the Spanish word "quijote," meaning "thigh." Other variants include "quixotical" and "quixotism."

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The noun "quindecagon" is a 15-sided polygon, a geometric shape made up of straight sides and angles. The word originated from the Latin term "quindecim," which means "15." The complete etymology consists of "quinque," meaning "five;" "decem," meaning "10;" and the suffix "-agon."

"Quodlibet" is a noun that refers to a subtle or formal argument about a topic of debate, such as theological issues. The term also refers to a humorous musical composition that combines complementary melodies from separate compositions, especially popular tunes. The word originated in Medieval Latin and has the adjective and adverb variants "quodlibetic," "quodlibetical" and "quodlibetically."

The noun "quagmire" refers to wet, boggy ground that is soft and yielding under pressure. Based on this original meaning, the term is also used to describe a tough predicament in which the best solution is difficult to find. The word "quag," an obsolete term for a bog or marsh, originated from the Middle English word "quabbe." The word "mire" is derived from Old Norse and Old English terms meaning "marsh" or "moss."

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