- 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 (“to 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)
- Rhymes: -ɑːm, -ɔːm
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.
- 2021 September 22, Caroline Siede, “Dear Evan Hansen is a misfire on just about every level”, in AV Club:
- Questions of bad taste have hung around Dear Evan Hansen since it debuted on Broadway in 2016, though such qualms were mostly drowned out by praise for Platt’s visceral live performance and the catchy Broadway-by-way-of-Christian-rock tunes from wunderkind songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who are also responsible for the toe-tapping numbers from The Greatest Showman).
- A sudden sickly feeling; queasiness. [from 16th c.]
- (now chiefly in the negative) A prick of the conscience; a moral scruple, a pang of guilt. [from 17th c.]
- This lawyer has no qualms about saving people who are on the wrong side of the law.
- (archaic, UK dialectal) Mortality; plague; pestilence.
- (archaic, UK 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.
- Plague, disease or sickness; that which afflicts.
- The effects, fruits, or ravages of plague.
- (rare) Killing (as a concept or as an instance)