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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: When is a plan quixotic?

  • When the community will not support it.
  • When it promises something that it cannot deliver on time.
  • When it is unrealistic and so unlikely to happen.

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.


  • A year later, fiction became fact when Stephen Colbert announced last week that, after 'nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching,' he had 'heard the call' to launch his own quixotic bid for the White House. —Newsweek
  • 'Speaking of Dreams,' the 1989 love song that concludes Rare, Live and Classic, provides an optimistic end to Baez’s quixotic artistic odyssey. —Rolling Stone
  • Few actors would probably even want to attempt to steal the screen from Brad Pitt, who plays Jesse James as a quixotic mystic. —Los Angeles Times
  • 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

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