Definitions

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

  • adj. Delightfully pretty or dainty.
  • adj. Obviously contrived to charm; precious: "[He] mugs so ferociously he kills the humor—it's an insufferably cute performance” ( David Ansen).
  • adj. Shrewd; clever.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. 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.
  • adj. Generally, attractive or pleasing, especially in a youthful, dainty, quaint or fun-spirited way.
  • adj. Affected or contrived to charm; mincingly clever; precious; cutesy.
  • adj. Mentally keen or discerning; clever; shrewd; see acute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Acute; clever; sharp; smart.

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

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

Etymologies

Short for acute.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

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

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

    The Six Rules of Maybe

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

    The von Daniken School of Biblical Interpretation

  • 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

  • One of the proud new "masters" just plain cute (and soooo soft!).

    I want one!

Comments

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  • Boys are so cute !!! :))

    October 30, 2011