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See also: Qualen



From Middle High German queln, from Old High German quellen, from Proto-Germanic *kwaljaną. The vowel was lengthened in modern German under the influence of the related noun Qual. Cognates include Dutch kwellen, English quell, Old Norse kvelja, and further Old Church Slavonic жаль (žalĭ, pain), Old Armenian կեղ (keł, sore, ulcer).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkvɛːlən/, [ˈkʋɛːlən], [ˈkʋɛːl̩n] (standard; especially western Germany, Switzerland)
  • IPA(key): /ˈkveːlən/ (alternative standard; chiefly northern and eastern regions)
  • (file)


quälen (weak, third-person singular present quält, past tense quälte, past participle gequält, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to torture, to torment, to agonize
  2. (transitive) to cause sorrow, to upset, to worry
  3. (transitive) to harass, to bother
  4. (reflexive) to toil, to struggle


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • quälen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • quälen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • quälen” in Duden online
  • quälen” in OpenThesaurus.de