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 (kwĭk-sŏt′ĭk) also quix·ot·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
1. Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.
2. Capricious; impulsive: "At worst his scruples must have been quixotic, not malicious" (Louis Auchincloss).

[From English Quixote, a visionary, after Don Quixote, , hero of a romance by Miguel de Cervantes.]

quix·ot′i·cal·ly adv.
quix′o·tism (kwĭk′sə-tĭz′əm) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a tendency to absurdly chivalric, visionary, or romantically impractical conduct. — quixotic, quixotical, adj.
See also: Behavior
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.quixotism - quixotic (romantic and impractical) behavior
idealism - impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈkwɪksətɪzəm] Nquijotismo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in classic literature ?
Shelby, "but I think you had better think before you undertake such a piece of Quixotism."
For example, coming by the house of a country gentleman, as Father Simon called him, about ten leagues off the city of Nankin, we had first of all the honour to ride with the master of the house about two miles; the state he rode in was a perfect Don Quixotism, being a mixture of pomp and poverty.
I wrung my hands over this absurd piece of Quixotism; but if he was determined on this deed, of course I could not stop him.
In 1976, the Islamist magazine Vesika announced Syria's occupation of Lebanon with the headline "The Don Quixotism of Assad the Alawite"; it described Hafez Al-Assad himself as one whose "Alawism predominated over his Leftism." (28) In 1979, as clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Assad government grew steadily fiercer, many Islamist newspapers and magazines began to feature news stories and opinion columns about Syria.
Not a lot has changed, and the measure of Gilliam's ingenuity is his ability to suggest that Quixotism is a universal, transhistorical condition.
(7) In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland never sees herself as a heroine, a role that she attributes to her friend Isabella, or to characters in books, but except for a very brief episode of quixotism at Northanger, Catherine remains a naive but accurate observer of people.
It is a form of Don Quixotism. The key of any successful effort is not what I would like to see happening but what is practically attainable.
This paper proposes to examine this multilingual, postmodern play and to position it in our contemporary discussion of quixotism. Since the seventeenth century, adaptations of Don Quixote have contributed to an exchange of sentiments and ideas--not only in Spain, but also transculturally.
He discusses the application of political and aesthetic approaches to the study of early American novels, focusing on Hugh Henry Brackenridge's Modern Chivalry; the deceptive actions of picaresque con men, gothic villains, and sentimental seducers in early American novels, such as Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland and Arthur Mervyn; Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple, Royall Tyler's The Algerine Captive, and Tabitha Gilman Tenney's Female Quixotism; the visual arts, including Charles Wilson Peale and Raphaelle Peale's trompe l'oeil deception; and artistic negotiations of deception, sensuous cognition, and art in Susan Warner's The Wide, Wide World, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
"[To] redress the wrongs of the indigent and the injured is no quixotism, but [rather] a grave and highly honorable duty of the profession." (32) In 1840, Delaware's Justice Harrington observed that "the poor suitor may not have the present means of payment, and this [English common law policy] may deprive him of counsel ....
Raff outlines the origins of this role by turning to eighteenth-century literary debates (didacticism; quixotism), to the plots of Austen's novels (courtship plots of "pedagogical love" [7]), to the novelist's frequent recourse to rhetorical techniques such as generalization (best exemplified in the precepts and maxims that pepper her fiction), and most importantly but perhaps most controversially--to Austen's biography, notably her relationship and epistolary correspondence with her niece, Fanny Knight.