Quizzical usually means puzzled or questioning, though it can also mean confused, surprised, comical, or mocking. If someone's looking at you with a quizzical expression when you mention your summer, it might mean they don't know about your adventures at space camp.

The word quiz tucked inside quizzical should help you remember the idea of questioning that this adjective often suggests. The word also comes in handy to describe being eccentric or odd, as well as skeptical or derisive. You raise a quizzical eyebrow every time you see me in my giant fur hat. Does that mean you don’t like it?

Definitions of quizzical
  1. adjective
    perplexed (as if being expected to know something that you do not know)
    “he had a quizzical expression”
    synonyms: questioning
    full of difficulty or confusion or bewilderment
  2. adjective
    playfully vexing (especially by ridicule)
    “"his face wore a somewhat quizzical almost impertinent air"- Lawrence Durrell”
    synonyms: mocking, teasing
    full of fun and high spirits
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week