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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce quixotic (audio)

Dictionary definition of quixotic

Exceedingly idealistic, impractical, or visionary, often to the point of being unrealistic or far-fetched.
"The young idealist had a quixotic belief in the power of love to conquer all."

Detailed meaning of quixotic

When a plan, endeavor, or individual is described as quixotic, it implies a pursuit of noble and lofty goals, sometimes driven by a fervent desire for positive change or moral righteousness, but lacking a practical or rational basis for success. The term draws inspiration from the character Don Quixote in Miguel de Cervantes' novel, known for his chivalrous, yet impractical, adventures. A quixotic mission might involve pursuing grandiose dreams or attempting to solve complex societal issues with limited resources or strategies. "Quixotic" highlights a sense of romantic idealism, often tinged with a touch of naivety, and conveys a desire to make the world a better place, even if the chosen methods are unlikely to achieve the desired results.

Example sentences containing quixotic

1. His quixotic quest to save the world from pollution was admirable but challenging.
2. Starting a new business with no experience in the industry seemed like a quixotic endeavor.
3. Her quixotic dreams of becoming a famous singer drove her to pursue music relentlessly.
4. The plan to build a utopian society in the wilderness was considered quixotic by many.
5. His quixotic pursuit of perfection often left him feeling frustrated.
6. Trying to convince the entire world to embrace veganism was a quixotic mission.

History and etymology of quixotic

The adjective 'quixotic' has a colorful etymology linked to one of literature's most iconic characters, Don Quixote. It is derived from the name 'Don Quixote,' the main character in Miguel de Cervantes' 17th-century novel, 'Don Quixote.' Don Quixote is a chivalrous and idealistic but somewhat delusional character who embarks on a series of absurd and impractical adventures in pursuit of his lofty and often unrealistic ideals. 'Quixotic' thus became associated with his character's extreme idealism, impracticality, and visionariness. It signifies the pursuit of noble, but often unattainable, goals, often with a touch of idealism bordering on the absurd. The word's etymology pays homage to the enduring literary legacy of Don Quixote and the enduring notion of striving for impossible dreams.

Quiz: Find the meaning of quixotic

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Further usage examples of quixotic

1. The idea of achieving world peace overnight was seen as quixotic by most politicians.
2. Launching a space tourism company with limited funds appeared quixotic at first.
3. The inventor's quixotic invention failed to gain traction in the market.
4. His quixotic personality made him prone to pursuing impractical ventures.
5. The politician's quixotic promises raised skepticism among voters.
6. The notion of eradicating poverty entirely may seem quixotic, but it's a noble goal.
7. Starting a farm in the middle of the desert sounded quixotic, but he made it work.
8. Her quixotic belief in the goodness of humanity never wavered.
9. The author's quixotic novels often explored unconventional themes.
10. The explorer embarked on a quixotic journey to find the lost city.
11. The scientist's quixotic theories challenged conventional wisdom.
12. Launching a solo expedition to the North Pole was a quixotic adventure.
13. Despite the odds, their quixotic plan to build a sustainable community succeeded.
14. His plan to save the company was quixotic and doomed to fail.



idealistic, pragmatic, realistic, practical


GRE 11 (Graduate Record Examination), Aspiration and Ambition, Challenges and Difficulties, Inventive and Inspired, Adversity and Obstacle, Drama and Overreaction, Doctrine and Utopian

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