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[kwol-i-tey-tiv] /ˈkwɒl ɪˌteɪ tɪv/
pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities.
Origin of qualitative
1600-10; < Late Latin quālitātīvus, equivalent to quālitāt- (stem of quālitās) quality + -īvus -ive
Related forms
qualitatively, adverb
nonqualitative, adjective
nonqualitatively, adverb
Can be confused
qualitative, quantitative. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for qualitative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cases of complete anosmia and qualitative obtuseness are not uncommon.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • It has always been known that there is qualitative relation.

    Mind and Motion and Monism George John Romanes
  • Labor, Marx pointed out, has two sides, the qualitative and the quantitative.

    Socialism John Spargo
  • That this is only quantitative, not qualitative, he has already shown.

  • The infinity of God is not a quantitative, but a qualitative infinity.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy Benjamin Franklin Cocker
  • But this is a relative and qualitative, rather than an absolute, truth.

    The Armed Forces Officer

    U. S. Department of Defense
British Dictionary definitions for qualitative


/ˈkwɒlɪtətɪv; -ˌteɪ-/
involving or relating to distinctions based on quality or qualities Compare quantitative
Derived Forms
qualitatively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for qualitative

early 15c., "that produces a (physical) quality," from Medieval Latin qualitativus "relating to quality," from stem of Latin qualitas "a quality, property, nature" (see quality). Meaning "concerned with quality" is from c.1600 in English, from French qualitatif or Medieval Latin qualitativus. Related: Qualitatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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