to the quick

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



to the quick

  1. To the level of living tissue.
    • 1904, Jack London, The Sea-Wolf, ch. 39:
      Blood dripped from every finger-end, while the nails were broken to the quick.
  2. Very deeply; at one's most sensitive level of feeling.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, act 4, sc. 4:
      Titus, I have touched thee to the quick.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, a Foundling, ch. 14:
      This false evidence . . . stung me to the quick, and raised an indignation scarce conceivable.
    • 1837, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, ch. 37:
      The powerlessness of the strong man touched my heart to the quick.

Related terms[edit]