Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: quít, quît, and quịt


Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: kwĭt, IPA(key): /kwɪt/, [kʰw̥ɪt]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪt

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English quiten, quyten, from Anglo-Norman quitter, Old French quitter, from quitte (acquited, quit), ultimately from Latin quietus.

Compare Dutch kwijten (to quit), German Low German quitten (to quit), German quitten, quittieren, Danish kvitte, Swedish qvitta, kvitta (to quit, leave, set off), Icelandic kvitta.


quit (not comparable)

  1. (usually followed by of) Released from obligation, penalty, etc; free, clear, or rid.
    • 1990, Claude de Bèze, 1688 revolution in Siam: the memoir of Father de Bèze, s.j, translated by E. W. Hutchinson, University Press, page 153:
      With mounting anger the King denounced the pair, both father and son, and was about to condemn them to death when his strength gave out. Faint and trembling he was unable to walk and the sword fell from his hands as he murmured: 'May the Protector of the Buddhist Faith grant me but seven more days grace of life to be quit of this disloyal couple, father and son'.
Usage notes[edit]
  • The usual past tense of quit is now quit in most senses, although dictionaries may allow quitted as an alternative. Quitted is most commonly used to mean "departed", e.g., "Caesar quitted the neighborhood of Rome, and made for Campania with three legions."


quit (third-person singular simple present quits, present participle quitting, simple past and past participle quit or quitted)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To pay (a debt, fine etc.).
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To repay (someone) for (something).
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter XIV, in Le Morte Darthur, book II (in Middle English):
      I was but late att a Iustynge / and there I Iusted with a knyghte that is broder vnto kynge Pellam / and twyes smote I hym doune / & thenne he promysed to quyte me on my best frynde / and so he wounded my sone that can not be hole tyll I haue of that knyghtes blood
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • c. 1515–1516, published 1568, John Skelton, Againſt venemous tongues enpoyſoned with ſclaunder and falſe detractions &c.:
      But if that I knewe what his name hight,
      For clatering of me I would him ſone quight;
      For his falſe lying, of that I ſpake never,
      I could make him ſhortly repent him forever: […]
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To repay, pay back (a good deed, injury etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.v:
      Vnthankfull wretch (said he) is this the meed, / With which her soueraigne mercy thou doest quight?
    • 1613, John Marston, William Barksted, The Insatiate Countess, III.2:
      Forgive me, Rogero: 'tis my fate / To love thy friend and quit thy love with hate.
  4. (reflexive, archaic) To conduct or acquit (oneself); to behave (in a specified way).
  5. (transitive, archaic) To carry through; to go through to the end.
    • 1595-1609, Samuel Daniel, Civil Wars
      Never worthy prince a day did quit / With greater hazard and with more renown.
  6. (transitive) To set at rest; to free, as from anything harmful or oppressive; to relieve; to clear; to liberate.
    • 1688, William Wake, Preparation for Death
      To quit you [] of this fear, [] you have already lookt Death in the face; what have you found so terrible in it?
  7. (transitive) To release from obligation, accusation, penalty, etc.; to absolve; to acquit.
  8. (transitive) To abandon, renounce (a thing).
  9. (transitive) To leave (a place).
  10. (transitive, intransitive) To resign from (a job, office, position, etc.).
    After having to work overtime without being paid, I quit my job.
  11. (transitive, intransitive) To stop, give up (an activity) (usually + gerund or verbal noun).
    John is planning to quit smoking.
  12. (transitive, computing) To close (an application).

Derived terms[edit]
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.

Pam Peters, The Cambridge Guide to English Usage, Cambridge University Press, p. 453.

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably of imitative origin.


quit (plural quits)

  1. Any of numerous species of small passerine birds native to tropical America. [from 19th c.]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




  1. third-person singular past historic of quérir




  1. third-person singular present active indicative of queō

Old French[edit]



  1. first-person singular present indicative of quidier