Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Meet-Cute

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is meet-cute. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Meet-cute is a term that refers to a cute, charming, or amusing first encounter between romantic partners. A meet-cute can be such an encounter as shown in a movie or television show, or one that happens in real life.

// The elderly couple loved sharing the story of their hilarious meet-cute from 30 years ago.

MEET-CUTE in Context

“The star of E!’s new original TV movie Why Can’t My Life Be a Rom-Com? recently revealed the ‘pretty cute’ way she met her current partner, and the story is just like a meet-cute out of one of your favorite films.” — Brett Malec, E! Online, 19 Feb. 2023

Did You Know?

Isn’t it cute how two words can be introduced to each other and become an inseparable pair soon after? Well, that’s exactly what happened when meet and cute got together in 1952. The duo was spotted in The New York Times Book Review in 1952 in reference to an unexpected rendezvous: “This may well be, in magazine parlance, the neatest meet-cute of the week—the story of a ghost-writer who falls in love with a ghost.” Today the word is used often to refer to such encounters in films and television series (especially rom-coms and sitcoms). Writers of meet-cutes often develop plots by creating situations in which characters clash in personality, or by creating embarrassing situations in which two eventual romantic partners will meet, or by creating a misunderstanding between characters who will separate but become friends in the end.

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