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From Middle English quaschen, quasshen, cwessen, quassen, from Old French quasser, from Latin quassāre, present active infinitive of quassō, under the influence of cassō (I annul), from Latin quatiō (I shake), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷeh₁t- (to shake) (same root for the English words: pasta, paste, pastiche, pastry). Cognate with Dutch kwetsen (to hurt, injure), German quetschen (to crush, squash), Spanish quejar (to complain).





quash (third-person singular simple present quashes, present participle quashing, simple past and past participle quashed)

  1. To defeat decisively, to suppress.
    The army quashed the rebellion.
    • a. 1678 (date written), Isaac Barrow, “(please specify the chapter name or sermon number). Of Contentment”, in The Works of Dr. Isaac Barrow. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, [], published 1830–1831, →OCLC:
      Contrition is apt to quash or allay all worldly grief.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXI, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, page 269:
      Anne that she had been perfectly right in her proceedings, since, by quashing all idle hopes, both parties would see the necessity of conquering their foolish passion.
    • 2014 November 17, Roger Cohen, “The horror! The horror! The trauma of ISIS [print version: International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      the quashing of a jihadi enclave here only spurs the sprouting of another there
  2. (obsolete) To crush or dash to pieces.
    • 1645, Edmund Waller, The Battle Of The Summer Islands:
      The whales / Against sharp rocks, like reeling vessels, quashed, / Though huge as mountains, are in pieces dashed.
  3. (law) To void or suppress (a subpoena, decision, etc.).
    • 1968, Parliament of the United Kingdom, “Section 2(2)”, in Criminal Appeal Act 1968s:Criminal Appeal Act 1968, page 2:
      In the case of an appeal against conviction the Court shall, if they allow the appeal, quash the conviction.


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