- exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
- extravagantly chivalrous, absurdly romantic, striving for an unattainable or impractical ideal
The word comes from the novel, Don Quixote. He is the romantic, impractical hero of Cervantes’ 1605/1615 satirical novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha (in English translation by 1620).
As a type attempting the impossible or holding visionary but impossible ideals, it is in English from the 1670s.
His name literally means “thigh” and also “a cuisse”, which is a piece of armor for the thigh.
The word in Modern Spanish is quijote and derives from Latin coxa meaning hip.
It is alleged that quixotic is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. It combines the beautiful sounds of q, x, and k.