quite

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

A development of quit, influence by Anglo-Norman quite.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

quite (not comparable)

  1. To the greatest extent or degree; completely, entirely.
    1. With verbs, especially past participles. [from 14th c.]
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book I:
        Thus when they had the witch disrobed quight, / And all her filthy feature open showne, / They let her goe at will, and wander wayes vnknowne.
      • 2005, Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 4 Oct 2005:
        Nobuyoshi Araki has been called a monster, a pornographer and a genius - and the photographer quite agrees.
    2. With prepositional phrases and spatial adverbs. [from 15th c.]
      • 1891, Thomas Nelson Page, On Newfound River:
        Margaret passed quite through the pines, and reached the opening beyond which was what was once the yard, but was now, except for a strip of flower-border and turf which showed care, simply a tangle of bushes and briars.
      • 2010, Joanna Briscoe, The Guardian, 30 Oct 2010:
        Religion and parochial etiquette are probed to reveal unhealthy, and sometimes shockingly violent, internal desires quite at odds with the surface life of a town in which tolerance is preached.
    3. With predicative adjectives. [from 15th c.]
      • 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Son of Tarzan:
        El Adrea was quite dead. No more will he slink silently upon his unsuspecting prey.
      • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page 5
        In Lejeuneaceae vegetative branches normally originate from the basiscopic basal portion of a lateral segment half, as in the Radulaceae, and the associated leaves, therefore, are quite unmodified.
    4. With attributive adjectives, following an (especially indefinite) article; chiefly as expressing contrast, difference etc. [from 16th c.]
      • 2003, Richard Dawkins, A Devil's Chaplain:
        When I warned him that his words might be offensive to identical twins, he said that identical twins were a quite different case.
      • 2011, Peter Preston, The Observer, 18 Sep 2011:
        Create a new, quite separate, private company – say Murdoch Newspaper Holdings – and give it all, or most of, the papers that News Corp owns.
    5. Preceding nouns introduced by the indefinite article. Chiefly in negative constructions. [from 16th c.]
      • 1791, James Boswell, Life of Johnson:
        I ventured to hint that he was not quite a fair judge, as Churchill had attacked him violently.
      • 1920, John Galsworthy, In Chancery:
        And with a prolonged sound, not quite a sniff and not quite a snort, he trod on Euphemia's toe, and went out, leaving a sensation and a faint scent of barley−sugar behind him.
    6. With adverbs of manner. [from 17th c.]
      • 2009, John F. Schmutz, The Battle of the Crater: A complete history:
        However, the proceedings were quite carefully orchestrated to produce what seemed to be a predetermined outcome.
      • 2011, Bob Burgess, The Guardian, 18 Oct 2011:
        Higher education institutions in the UK are, quite rightly, largely autonomous.
  2. In a fully justified sense; truly, perfectly, actually.
    1. Coming before the indefinite article and an attributive adjective. (Now largely merged with moderative senses, below.) [from 17th c.]
      • 1898, Charles Gavrice, Nell of Shorne Mills:
        "My little plot has been rather successful, after all, hasn't it?" "Quite a perfect success," said Drake.
      • 2001, Paul Brown, The Guardian, 7 Feb 2001:
        While the government claims to lead the world with its plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the figures tell quite a different story.
    2. With plain adjectives, past participles, and adverbs. [from 18th c.]
      • 2010, Dave Hill, The Guardian, 5 Nov 2010:
        London Underground is quite unique in how many front line staff it has, as anyone who has travelled on the Paris Metro or New York Subway will testify.
    3. Coming before the definite article and an attributive superlative. [from 18th c.]
      • 1910, ‘Saki’, "The Soul of Laploshka", Reginald in Russia:
        Laploshka was one of the meanest men I have ever met, and quite one of the most entertaining.
      • 1923, "The New Pictures", Time, 8 Oct 1923:
        Scaramouche has already been greeted as the finest French Revolution yet brought to the screen-and even if you are a little weary of seeing a strongly American band of sans-culottes demolish a pasteboard Paris, you should not miss Scaramouche, for it is quite the best thing Rex Ingram has done since The Four Horsemen.
    4. Before a noun preceded by an indefinite article; now often with ironic implications that the noun in question is particularly noteworthy or remarkable. [from 18th c.]
      • 1830, Senate debate, 15 Apr 1830:
        To debauch the Indians with rum and cheat them of their land was quite a Government affair, and not at all criminal; but to use rum to cheat them of their peltry, was an abomination in the sight of the law.
      • 2011, Gilbert Morris, The Crossing:
        “Looks like you and Clay had quite a party,” she said with a glimmer in her dark blue eyes.
    5. Before a noun preceded by the definite article. [from 18th c.]
      • 1871, Anthony Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds:
        It is quite the proper thing for a lady to be on intimate, and even on affectionate, terms with her favourite clergyman, and Lizzie certainly had intercourse with no clergyman who was a greater favourite with her than Mr. Emilius.
      • 2006, Sherman Alexie, "When the story stolen is your own", Time, 6 Feb 2006:
        His memoir features a child named Tommy Nothing Fancy who suffers from and dies of a seizure disorder. Quite the coincidence, don't you think?
    6. (now rare) With prepositional or adverbial phrases. [from 18th c.]
  3. To a moderate extent or degree; somewhat, rather. [from 19th c.]
Usage notes[edit]
  • This is a non-descriptive qualifier, similar to fairly and rather and somewhat. Used where a plain adjective needs to be modified, but cannot be qualified. When spoken, the meaning can vary with the tone of voice and stress. He was quite big can mean anything from "not exactly small" to "almost huge".
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[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 Help:How to check translations.

Interjection[edit]

quite

  1. (chiefly UK) Indicates agreement; "exactly so".

Etymology 2[edit]

From Spanish quite.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

quite (plural quites)

  1. (bullfighting) A series of passes made with the cape to distract the bull.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Galician[edit]

Verb[edit]

quite

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of quitar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of quitar

Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

quīte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of queō

Portuguese[edit]

Verb[edit]

quite

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of quitar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of quitar
  3. third-person singular imperative of quitar

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

quite m (plural quites)

  1. The action of removal
  2. A swerve or sidestep

Verb[edit]

quite

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of quitar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of quitar