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See also: Quest, QUEST, and quest'


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From Middle English quest, queste; partly from Anglo-Norman queste, Old French queste (acquisition, search, hunt), and partly from their source, Latin quaesta (tribute, tax, inquiry, search), noun use of quaesita, the feminine past participle of quaerere (to ask, seek).


  • IPA(key): /kwɛst/, enPR: kwĕst
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛst


quest (plural quests)

  1. A journey or effort in pursuit of a goal (often lengthy, ambitious, or fervent); a mission.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
      Cease your quest of love.
    • 2013 January 1, Katie L. Burke, “Ecological Dependency”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 1, page 64:
      In his first book since the 2008 essay collection Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, David Quammen looks at the natural world from yet another angle: the search for the next human pandemic, what epidemiologists call “the next big one.” His quest leads him around the world to study a variety of suspect zoonoses—animal-hosted pathogens that infect humans.
  2. The act of seeking, or looking after anything; attempt to find or obtain; search; pursuit.
    to rove in quest of game, of a lost child, of property, etc.
  3. (obsolete) Request; desire; solicitation.
    • [1633], George Herbert, [Nicholas Ferrar], editor, The Temple: Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel; and are to be sold by Francis Green, [], OCLC 1048966979; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, [], 1885, OCLC 54151361:
      Gad not abroad at every quest and call / Of an untrained hope or passion.
  4. (obsolete) A group of people making search or inquiry.
  5. (obsolete) Inquest; jury of inquest.

Derived terms[edit]



quest (third-person singular simple present quests, present participle questing, simple past and past participle quested)

  1. (intransitive) To seek or pursue a goal; to undertake a mission or job.
  2. (transitive) To search for something; to seek.
    • 1634, Thomas Herbert, Description of the Persian Monarchy now beinge the Orientall Indyes, Iles and other ports of the Greater Asia and Africk
      Next day we quested in search of our caravan, and after some pains recovered it.
  3. (entomology, of a tick) To locate and attach to a host animal.


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Partly from Anglo-Norman queste, Old French queste, and partly from their source, Latin quaesta.



quest (plural questes)

  1. (Late Middle English) A legal inquest or investigation; a session of court.
  2. (Late Middle English) A group or body of jurors
  3. (rare) A body of judges or other individuals commissioned to make a decision or verdict
  4. (rare) The decision or verdict reached by such a body of judges.
  5. (rare) A quest, mission, or search.
    1. (rare) The finding of prey by hunting dogs during a hunt.
    2. (rare, Late Middle English) The howling upon finding prey by hunting dogs during a hunt.
  6. (rare, Late Middle English) A petition or asking.

Related terms[edit]


  • English: quest
  • Scots: quest




From Vulgar Latin *eccu istu, from Latin eccum istum. Compare Italian questo.


quest (feminine singular questa)

  1. this one, this
    Quest l'è un mond zneno, e nost mond.
    This is a small world, our world.
    Questa l'è una cittadina bela.
    This is a beautiful city.



From Vulgar Latin *eccum iste, from Latin eccum + iste. Compare Italian questo.



  1. this