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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 qualitatively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You mean its effect is qualitatively different from that of any other explosion?

    Disowned Victor Endersby
  • But qualitatively, the tendency is for men to become what society expects.

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • Any pleasure is qualitatively unique, being precisely the harmony of one set of conditions with its appropriate activity.


    John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • On the Internet, we come closer to what emerges as a qualitatively new form of human interaction.

  • The novel is read neither quantitatively nor qualitatively in Spain.

  • qualitatively, these psychological states are different, as those who have experienced both will know.

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • Quantitatively they are not important, and qualitatively they are not really commercial transactions.

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • Be they sufficient or insufficient, qualitatively speaking, I am not going to increase their quantity.

    Monumental Java J. F. Scheltema
British Dictionary definitions for qualitatively


/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 qualitatively



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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