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  • Adj.




His determination to build low-cost housing despite little support from the community seemed quixotic or impractical at best. As part of this unrealistic or quixotic quest, Louis erected large billboards on the highway promising houses for the unbelievably low price of $20,000. While locals appreciated the contractor’s ideal vision, his excessively romantic, quixotic scheme was doomed to failure.

Quiz: What does a quixotic plan involve?

  • A wild idea that has little chance of succeeding.
  • A puzzling problem that may delay its success.
  • A supportive community that will help it succeed.

Memory Hook

Erotic Quest Nixed The quixotic Don Quixote so loved Dulcinea that he traveled for years throughout Spain in search of her, on an erotic quest finally nixed by his failure to join with the beautiful Dulcinea in marriage, or in anything else, for that matter.


  • Mr Kucinich has returned to Cleveland thoroughly trounced, and is confronted with a revolt among his fellow Ohio Democrats who are tired of his quixotic runs for the presidency. —The Economist
  • The energy package pursues objectives that range, depending on your point of view, from the laudable and visionary to the quixotic and crazily expensive. —The Economist
  • The prize for this season’s most quixotic quest goes to a pair of Irishmen, Brian Cunningham and Jamie Young, who hoped to travel from the Pole to the coast by kite-powered buggies. —Sports Illustrated

Word Ingredients

-ic like

Someone who is quixotic acts “like Quixote.” From the famous character Don “Quixote,” who was known for his rather fanciful plans and idealistic exploits.

Word Theater

The Importance of Being Earnest Cecily finds Algernon's idea of reforming himself to be rather quixotic.

Word Constellation