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[kwawr-ee, kwor-ee] /ˈkwɔr i, ˈkwɒr i/
noun, plural quarries.
an excavation or pit, usually open to the air, from which building stone, slate, or the like, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc.
an abundant source or supply.
verb (used with object), quarried, quarrying.
to obtain (stone) from or as if from a quarry.
to make a quarry in.
Origin of quarry1
1375-1425; Middle English quarey (noun) < Medieval Latin quareia, variant of quareria < Old French quarriere < Vulgar Latin *quadrāria place where stone is squared, derivative of Latin quadrāre to square
Related forms
quarriable, quarryable, adjective
unquarried, adjective
Can be confused
quarry, query. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quarried
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Derbyshire marbles are quarried all about, and mosaic manufacture is carried on.

  • Here, too, the granite for building the country's defences and docks is quarried.


    M. Pearson Thomson
  • The bulk of the quarried stone has the colour and greasy look of raw pork.

    The Pagan Madonna Harold MacGrath
  • Fire, chisel, and hammer at work on these three rocks; but, they are all quarried first.

    Flamsted quarries Mary E. Waller
  • The cell is formed of four quarried blocks, which are laid one over the other.

    History of Phoenicia George Rawlinson
  • At their feet fell the precipice where the limestone was quarried away.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • Imagination was the tool with which he digged and quarried his foundations.

    A Man's Value to Society Newell Dwight Hillis
  • They sought no quarried blocks of syenite or granite for their work.

  • It has a fine grain, and is easily worked; it was quarried in the vicinity of Nocera.

British Dictionary definitions for quarried


noun (pl) -ries
an open surface excavation for the extraction of building stone, slate, marble, etc, by drilling, blasting, or cutting
a copious source of something, esp information
verb -ries, -rying, -ried
to extract (stone, slate, etc) from or as if from a quarry
(transitive) to excavate a quarry in
to obtain (something, esp information) diligently and laboriously: he was quarrying away in the reference library
Word Origin
C15: from Old French quarriere, from quarre (unattested) square-shaped stone, from Latin quadrāre to make square


noun (pl) -ries
an animal, bird, or fish that is hunted, esp by other animals; prey
anything pursued or hunted
Word Origin
C14 quirre entrails offered to the hounds, from Old French cuirée what is placed on the hide, from cuir hide, from Latin corium leather; probably also influenced by Old French coree entrails, from Latin cor heart


noun (pl) -ries
a square or diamond shape
something having this shape
another word for quarrel2
Word Origin
C16: from Old French quarré; see quarrel²
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 quarried



"what is hunted," early 14c., quirre "entrails of deer placed on the hide and given to dogs of the chase as a reward," from Anglo-French quirreie, Old French cuiriee "the spoil, quarry" (Modern French curée), altered (by influence of Old French cuir "skin," from Latin corium "hide"), from Old French corée "viscera, entrails," from Vulgar Latin *corata "entrails," from Latin cor "heart" (see heart). Sense of "anything chased in hunt" is first recorded 1610s; earlier "bird targeted by a hawk or other raptor" (late 15c.).



"open place where rocks are excavated," c.1400 (mid-13c. as a place name), from Medieval Latin quareia, dissimilated from quarreria (mid-13c.), literally "place where stones are squared," from Latin quadrare "to square" (see quadrant).



1774, from quarry (n.2). Related: Quarried; quarrying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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