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quality Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
    • the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
  2. noun a degree or grade of excellence or worth
    caliber; calibre.
    • the quality of students has risen
    • an executive of low caliber
  3. noun a characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something
    character; lineament.
    • each town has a quality all its own
    • the radical character of our demands
  4. noun (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)
    timbre; tone; timber.
    • the timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely
    • the muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet
  5. noun high social status
    • a man of quality
  6. adjective satellite of superior grade
    prime; prize; select; choice.
    • choice wines
    • prime beef
    • prize carnations
    • quality paper
    • select peaches
  7. adjective satellite of high social status
    • people of quality
    • a quality family

Qual"i*ty noun
F. qualité, L. qualitas, fr. qualis how constituted, as; akin to E. which. See Which.
plural Qualities
  1. The condition of being of such and such a sort as distinguished from others; nature or character relatively considered, as of goods; character; sort; rank.
    We lived most joyful, obtaining acquaintance with many of the city not of the meanest quality. Bacon
  2. Special or temporary character; profession; occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position.
    I made that inquiry in quality of an antiquary. Gray.
  3. That which makes, or helps to make, anything such as it is; anything belonging to a subject, or predicable of it; distinguishing property, characteristic, or attribute; peculiar power, capacity, or virtue; distinctive trait; as, the tones of a flute differ from those of a violin in quality; the great quality of a statesman. Qualities, in metaphysics, are primary or secondary. Primary are those essential to the existence, and even the conception, of the thing, as of matter or spirit Secondary are those not essential to such a conception.
  4. An acquired trait; accomplishment; acquisition.
    He had those qualities of horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good breeding. Clarendon.
  5. Superior birth or station; high rank; elevated character. "Persons of quality." Bacon.
    I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers, that the quality may see how pretty they will look in their traveling habits. Addison.
    Syn. -- Property; attribute; nature; peculiarity; character; sort; rank; disposition; temper.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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