Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fancy twist or curl, such as a flourish made with a pen.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Something fantastically curled or twisted: as, to make a curlicue with the pen; to cut curlicues in skating.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Colloq. U.S. Some thing curled or spiral, as a flourish made with a pen on paper, or with skates on the ice; a trick; a frolicsome caper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A fancy twisting or curling shape made from a series of concentric circles.
  • verb transitive and intransitive To make or adorn (something) with curlicues, or as if with curlicues

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

  • noun a short twisting line
  • noun a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles (as formed by leaves or flower petals)

Etymologies

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

[curly + cue, tail, and possibly cue.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From curly +‎ cue.

Examples

  • The curlicue is a little uneven, too, but the chef complimented my pear, and I rather like it myself.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • The curlicue is a little uneven, too, but the chef complimented my pear, and I rather like it myself.

    All Done

  • Remnants of the feathers and "curlicue" designs can still be seen.

    Insight into the Soul

  • Only, they haven't, as good as a proof is in a excellent, curlicue guitar work of songs similar to "Plans" as good as "I Don't Wanna Go There."

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • Only, they haven't, as good as a proof is in a excellent, curlicue guitar work of songs similar to "Plans" as good as "I Don't Wanna Go There."

    The Best Albums Of 2009, In Bigger Than The Sound | Industry Fokery

  • Portis's language is an archaic, biblically inflected 19th-century American English, free of contractions, a plainsong not averse to rhetorical filigree and curlicue – a perfect fit for the hyper-literate, word-drunk Coens.

    With True Grit, the Coen brothers have given the western back its teeth

  • Your reviews are very good, but they could be more interesting if you didn't feel the need to lecture us about movie genealogical connections we might already be familiar with, or if you didn't rely so heavily on the Thesaurus you seem to have parked at your elbow or in your brain - "oft-presumed", "essayed", "curlicue"?

    With True Grit, the Coen brothers have given the western back its teeth

  • The words inscribed on his inner forearms, in fine curlicue, reveal more than he is prepared to say out loud.

    Ashley Young still aiming to win his spurs with England

  • The words, in typical French curlicue cursive read: Cherche Quelqu'un pour le mois d'Août.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • I set down thesac à doson the cobbled sidewalk in time to reread the curlicue announcement but no sooner had I translated the first word than the shop door flew open setting off a commotion of cowbells.

    French Word-A-Day:

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