- calm (dialectal)
Perhaps from Middle English qualm, cwalm (“death, sickness, plague”), which is from Old English cwealm (West Saxon: "death, disaster, plague"), ūtcualm (Anglian: "utter destruction"), from Proto-West Germanic *kwalm (“killing, death, destruction”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷelH- (“to stick, pierce; pain, injury, death”), whence also quell. Although the sense development is possible, this has the problem that there are no attestations in intermediate senses before the appearance of "pang of apprehension, etc." in the 16th century. The alternative etymology is from Dutch kwalm or German Qualm "steam, vapor, mist," earlier "daze, stupefaction", which is from the root of German quellen (“stream, well up”). The sense "feeling of faintness" is from 1530; "uneasiness, doubt" from 1553; "scruple of conscience" from 1649.
- (General American) IPA(key): /kwɑm/, /kwɔm/, /kwɑlm/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /kwɑːm/, /kwɔːm/
Audio (UK) (file)
qualm (plural qualms)
- A feeling of apprehension, doubt, fear etc. [from 16th c.]
- 2012 August 25, Andy Pasztor, “Armstrong, First Man on Moon, Dies”, in Wall Street Journal, retrieved 2012-08-26:
- Opponents of those privatization plans hoped to use Mr. Armstrong's qualms as ammunition to block the White House initiatives, and they asked for more public statements.
- A sudden sickly feeling; queasiness. [from 16th c.]
- A prick of the conscience; a moral scruple, a pang of guilt. (Now chiefly in negative constructions.) [from 17th c.]
- This lawyer has no qualms about saving people who are on the wrong side of the law.
- (archaic, Britain dialectal) Mortality; plague; pestilence.
- (archaic, Britain dialectal) A calamity or disaster.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- “qualm” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
- Plague, disease or sickness; that which afflicts.
- The effects, fruits, or ravages of plague.
- (rare) Killing (as a concept or as an instance)