quire

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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From Anglo-Norman quier, from Old French quaier, from Vulgar Latin *quaternus, from Latin quaterni (four at a time), from quater (four times)

Noun[edit]

quire (plural quires)

  1. One-twentieth of a ream of paper; a collection of twenty-four or twenty-five sheets of paper of the same size and quality, unfolded or having a single fold.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 592:
      Under the year 1533 we are told that the ream contained twenty quires.
    • 1929, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Penguin Books, paperback edition, page 71:
      […] and we must accept the fact that all those good novels, Villette, Emma, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, were written by women without more experience of life than could enter the house of a clergyman; written too in the common sitting-room of that respectable house and by women so poor that they could not afford to buy more than a few quires of paper at a time upon which to write Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.
  2. (bookbinding) A set of leaves which are stitched together, originally a set of four pieces of paper (eight leaves, sixteen pages). This is most often a single signature (i.e. group of four), but may be several nested signatures.
  3. A book, poem, or pamphlet.
Translations[edit]
Coordinate terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

quire (third-person singular simple present quires, present participle quiring, simple past and past participle quired)

  1. (bookbinding) To prepare quires by stitching together leaves of paper.
    • 1870, William White, Notes and Queries, vol. 42:
      Now, in the first folio volume of 1616, the paging, signatures, and quiring are continuous and regular throughout.
    • 1938, The Dolphin: A Journal of the Making of the Books, issue 3:
      This is a natural point at which to ask why quiring went out of fashion.
    • 1976, Alfred William Pollard, Alfred William Pollard: A Selection of his Essays:
      By means of these smooth pages we can mostly see how the modern binder made up the book, but whether in doing this he followed the original quiring is quite another matter.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A church quire
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Older spelling of choir.

Noun[edit]

quire (plural quires)

  1. (archaic) A choir.
    • c.1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, part 2, I.iii:
      Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her,
      And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds,
      That she will light to listen to the lays,
      And never mount to trouble you again.
  2. The architectural part of a church in which the choir resides, between the nave and the sanctuary.

Verb[edit]

quire (third-person singular simple present quires, present participle quiring, simple past and past participle quired)

  1. (intransitive) To sing in concert.
    • c.1598, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, V.i:
      Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven / Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: / There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st / But in his motion like an angel sings, / Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins; / Such harmony is in immortal souls; / But whilst this muddy vesture of decay / Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
    • 1938, William Faulkner, "Barn Burning"
      He went on down the hill, toward the dark woods within which the liquid silver voices of the birds called unceasing-the rapid and urgent beating of the urgent and quiring heart of the late spring night.

Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

quīre

  1. present active infinitive of queō