For the word quixotic, the English language is indebted to Don Quixote, the eponymous hero of the satire written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in Madrid in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. Don Quixote was a visionary who, after reading books on knight errantry, believed he had to redress the wrongs of the world. This man from La Mancha was a humble, amiable character, but his wits were deranged. His baptismal name was Alonso Quijano, but in a mock ceremony of knighthood he assumed the name Don Quixote.
   Quixote sallied forth on his nag, a rack of bones named Rocinante, accompanied by his squire, Sancho Panza, a short, pot-bellied rustic, untutored but shrewd. Quixote was involved in many adventures—more accurately misadventures—but his most famous was his tilting at windmills that he believed were giants. Eventually Quixote, worn out and disillusioned, returned to his home in La Mancha.
   The adjective quixotic describes a person who is an impractical idealist with lofty visions but little common sense.
   The poignant tale of the romantic cavalier Don Quixote de La Mancha and Richard Strauss's powerful tone poem Don Quixote composed in 1897 is tragicomedy; it is not a farce.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • quixotic — adjective chimerical, dreamy, fanciful, idealistic, illusory, impracticable, impractical, mad, notional, quixotical, romantic, unrealistic, Utopian, visionary Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • quixotic — (adj.) extravagantly chivalrous, 1791, from Don Quixote, romantic, impractical hero of Cervantes satirical novel Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605). His name lit. means thigh, also a cuisse (a piece of armor for the thigh), in Mod.Sp. quijote, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • quixotic — chimerical, fantastic, visionary, fanciful, *imaginary Analogous words: *sentimental, romantic: Utopian, *ambitious: ideal, transcendental, *abstract …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • quixotic — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ impractically idealistic or fanciful. DERIVATIVES quixotically adverb quixotism noun. ORIGIN from the name of Don Quixote, hero of Cervantes romance (1605 15) …   English terms dictionary

  • quixotic — [kwik sät′ik] adj. 1. [often Q ] of or like Don Quixote 2. extravagantly chivalrous or foolishly idealistic; visionary; impractical or impracticable: also quixotical quixotically adv …   English World dictionary

  • quixotic — quix|ot|ic [kwıkˈsɔtık US ˈsa: ] adj [Date: 1700 1800; Origin: Don Quixote, main character of the book Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605) by Spanish writer Cervantes] quixotic ideas or plans are not practical and are based on unreasonable hopes of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • quixotic — quix|ot|ic [ kwık satık ] adjective MAINLY LITERARY ideas or plans that are quixotic are not practical and usually do not succeed: a quixotic plan to end the violence …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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