English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English qualite, from Old French qualité, from Latin quālitās, quālitātem, from quālis (of what kind), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷo- (who, how). Cicero coined qualitas as a calque to translate the Ancient Greek word ποιότης (poiótēs, quality), coined by Plato from ποῖος (poîos, of what nature, of what kind).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

quality (countable and uncountable, plural qualities)

  1. (uncountable) Level of excellence.
    This school is well-known for having teachers of high quality.
    Quality of life is usually determined by health, education, and income.
  2. (countable) Something that differentiates a thing or person.
    One of the qualities of pure iron is that it does not rust easily.
    While being impulsive can be great for artists, it is not a desirable quality for engineers.
    Security, stability, and efficiency are good qualities of an operating system.
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: [], London: [] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] [], published 1602, →OCLC, Act III:
      Tuc[ca]. [] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough? / Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him. / Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: []
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XX, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
      “That's life,” she said, and buzzed off to keep her vigil, leaving me kicking myself because I'd forgotten to say anything about the quality of mercy not being strained. It isn't, as I dare say you know, and a mention of this might just have done the trick.
    • 2010, Stanley Elkin, A Bad Man[2]:
      Something about his bearing was uncommitted, as though he were checking not for some bad quality he knew Feldman had, but for some good quality he was afraid he might have.
  3. (archaic) Position; status; rank.
    • 1690, “The Preface to the Reader”, in A Full and True Relation of the Great and Wonderful Revolution That Hapned Lately in the Kingdom of Siam in the East-Indies, London: Randal Taylor, page i:
      The firſt Solemn Embaſſy that the French King ſent to the late King of SIAM, was in the Year 1685, by Monſieur de Chaumont, who went in Quality of Ambaſſador Extraordinary []
  4. (archaic) High social position. (See also the quality.)
    A peasant is not allowed to fall in love with a lady of quality.
    Membership of this golf club is limited to those of quality and wealth.
  5. (uncountable) The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items.
  6. (thermodynamics) In a two-phase liquidvapor mixture, the ratio of the mass of vapor present to the total mass of the mixture.
  7. (emergency medicine, countable) The third step in OPQRST where the responder investigates what the NOI/MOI feels like.
    To identify quality try asking, "what does it feel like?".
  8. (countable, UK, journalism) A newspaper with relatively serious, high-quality content.
    • 1998, Bill Coxall, Lynton Robins, Robert Leach, Contemporary British Politics, page 164:
      It is argued that in the last ten years or so, quality broadsheet newspapers have become more like the tabloids. Anthony Sampson has argued that 'the frontier between the qualities and popular papers has virtually disappeared'.

Usage notes edit

  • Adjectives often applied to "quality": high, good, excellent, exceptional, great, outstanding, satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, adequate, poor, low, bad, inferior, dubious, environmental, visual, optical, industrial, total, artistic, educational, physical, musical, chemical, spiritual, intellectual, architectural, mechanical.

Synonyms edit

Hyponyms edit

Coordinate terms edit

  • (a property that differentiates): quiddity

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective edit

quality (comparative more quality, superlative most quality)

  1. Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose; of high quality.
    We only sell quality products.
    That was a quality game by Jim Smith.
    A quality system ensures products meet customer requirements.
    • 1930, Stella Blum, Everyday Fashion of the Thirties as pictured in Sears Catalogs, published 1986, page 4:
      A model for discriminating women! A "quality" coat in every sense!
    • a. 2003, John Ahier, John Beck, Rob Moore, quoting Harriet (a Cambridge University student), Graduate Citizens?: Issues of Citizenship and Higher Education[3], Routledge, published 2003, →ISBN, page 114:
      I mean a lot of the money that obviously goes into universities and their libraries and their facilities and their academics and stuff but I mean I haven’t had a very quality degree to be honest. I think the quality of my education has been crap . . .
    • 2004, Vance M. Thompson, MD, edited by J. Kevin Belville and Ronald J. Smith, LASIK Techniques: Pearls and Pitfalls[4], SLACK Incorporated, →ISBN, page 187:
      For one I wanted to have what I considered a very quality tracking device.
    • 2008, Fay Vincent, quoting Carl Erskine, We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved[5], Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 144:
      A very quality ball club; that was the Braves.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volume I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 10.94, page 317.

Further reading edit