Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A riding whip with a short handle and a lash of braided rawhide.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rawhide whip plaited with two thongs of buffalo hide.
  • v. To strike with a quirt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rawhide whip plaited with two thongs of buffalo hide.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike or flog with a quirt.
  • n. A kind of riding-whip much used in the western parts of the United States and in Spanish-American countries.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. whip with a leather thong at the end

Etymologies

Probably from American Spanish cuarta, whip, ultimately from Latin quārta, fourth; see quart.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish cuerda ‘cord’, or Mexican Spanish cuarta ‘whip’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There he found his father at the table, braiding rawhide strands to make a riding whip called a quirt.

    Plain Language

  • Mexican saddle, cinched it tight without mercy, then mounted with a slam over of a leather-trousered leg, let the almost crazy horse go like the wind, and if he slackened his speed, spurs or "quirt," perhaps both, drove him on again.

    Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888

  • This scene may relate to an incident in which Rain-in-the-Face is said to have saved the daughter of the Upper Yanktonai Black Prairie Dog by extending his quirt to her and swinging her up onto his horse when their camp was attacked by the U.S. Army.

    Lee Rosenbaum: Native Americans, Brooklyn-Style: Family-Friendly, Deeply Informative "Tipi" Show

  • Forrest lifted his right hand, the quirt dangling from wrist, the straight forefinger touching the rim of his Baden Powell in semi-military salute.

    CHAPTER II

  • A Baden Powell hat and a quirt completed his appareling — ­the quirt, Indian-braided of rawhide, with ten ounces of lead braided into the butt that hung from his wrist on a loop of leather.

    CHAPTER I

  • The horse didn't live, after it had once learned the lesson, that would whirl in the face of the doubled quirt.

    Chapter XII

  • Daylight, with doubled quirt ready in his right hand, ached for a whirl, just one whirl, which

    Chapter XII

  • He would double the quirt in his hand and, the instant of the whirl, that doubled quirt would rap Bob on the nose.

    Chapter XII

  • On the other hand, suddenly to leave her and go dashing down the back-track, plying quirt and spurs, wouldn't do, either.

    Chapter XII

  • Daylight put a stop to this with spurs and quirt, running him several punishing miles in the direction of his bolt.

    Chapter XI

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Comments

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  • "I scored big with 'quirt,' (speaking about playing Scrabble) and he stuck his tongue out at me." -Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

    February 5, 2011

  • "If I do," he said to himself, "I'll ride the buckskin." The buckskin was a half-broken broncho that fought like a fiend under the saddle until the quirt and spur brought her to her senses.

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, ch. 2

    August 9, 2008