Definitions

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

  • adjective Attractive or pretty in a youthful or dainty way.
  • adjective Sexually attractive; good-looking.
  • adjective Obviously contrived to charm; precious.
  • adjective Clever or witty, especially in an impertinent or evasive way, as in falsely suggesting that one is ignorant about the matter at hand.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Acute; clever; sharp; smart.

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

  • adjective colloq. Clever; sharp; shrewd; ingenious; cunning.
  • adjective pleasantly attractive, in a delicate way; -- said of children, young ladies, pet animals and some objects, but seldom of adults.
  • adjective smart-alecky or impertinent.
  • adjective affectedly clever.

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

  • adjective Possessing physical features, behaviors, personality traits or other properties that are mainly attributed to infants and small or cuddly animals; e.g. fair, dainty, round, and soft physical features, disproportionately large eyes and head, playfulness, fragility, helplessness, curiosity or shyness, innocence, affectionate behavior.
  • adjective Generally, attractive or pleasing, especially in a youthful, dainty, quaint or fun-spirited way.
  • adjective Affected or contrived to charm; mincingly clever; precious; cutesy.
  • adjective Mentally keen or discerning; clever; shrewd; see acute.

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

  • adjective attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness
  • adjective obviously contrived to charm

Etymologies

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

[Short for acute.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened from acute, originally “keenly perceptive or discerning, shrewd” (1731). Meaning transferred to “pretty, fetching” by US students (slang) c.1834. Meaning drifted further to associate specifically with the pleasing attraction to features usually possessed by the young.

Examples

  • The term 'cute' and 'tool' aren't often associated, but I can't think of a better way to describe this tiny screwdriver designed to look like a miniature tank hanging from your keyring.

    Gizmodo

  • Along the same line up as their sisters Morning Musume, and Berryz Kubo, these group of adorable girls perfectly represent the definition of the term cute with their uniforms and infectious bubblegum pop music that the Hello!

    Recently updated products at JBOX.com

  • It's what I call a cute question capable of engaging one's imagination for a time.

    The von Daniken School of Biblical Interpretation

  • Maybe because she made the word cute, and Juliet never made words cute.

    The Six Rules of Maybe

  • Maybe because she made the word cute, and Juliet never made words cute.

    The Six Rules of Maybe

  • Anonymous said ... shouldn't the line go the other way? ie no matter how many times you say its cute the cuteness stays the same??? or is it saying that no matter how cute it is people will always call it cute the same amount?

    Even if it resembles that thing in Eraserhead.

  • Paper Heart is what I call a cute comedy: a light, yet very entertaining film that boasts plenty of energy, a bunch of solid laughs, an interesting enough theme, and an eccentric cast talented enough to authentically portray a couple of adorable characters.

    DVD Verdict

  • Not that being seen as "cute" is good, either, but it's better than verbal abuse.

    Love

  • Though if "cute" is the worst they encountered, they're relatively lucky.

    Love

  • More than one high school girl has been dismayed to learn that the one boy she personally, idiosyncratically found "cute" is a general heartthrob.

    A Quiet Genius

Comments

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  • Boys are so cute !!! :))

    October 30, 2011