1. A sudden turn; a starting from the point or line; hence, an artful evasion or subterfuge; a shift; a quibble; as, the quirks of a pettifogger. "Some quirk or . . . Evasion." "We ground the justification of our nonconformity on dark subtilties and intricate quirks." (Barrow)

2. A fit or turn; a short paroxysm; a caprice. "Quirks of joy and grief."

3. A smart retort; a quibble; a shallow conceit. "Some odd quirks and remnants of wit." (Shak)

4. An irregular air; as, light quirks of music.

5. A piece of ground taken out of any regular ground plot or floor, so as to make a court, yard, etc.; sometimes written quink.

6. A small channel, deeply recessed in proportion to its width, used to insulate and give relief to a convex rounded molding. Quirk molding, a bead between two quirks.

Origin: Cf W. Chwiori to turn briskly, or E. Queer.

(01 Mar 1998)