quaint / kwānt/ • adj. attractively unusual or old-fashioned: quaint country cottages a quaint old custom. DERIVATIVES: quaint·ly adv.quaint·ness n.ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French cointe, from Latin cognitus ‘ascertained,’ past participle of cognoscere. The original sense was ‘wise, clever,’ also ‘ingenious, cunningly devised,’ hence ‘out of the ordinary’ and the current sense (late 18th cent.).