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[kwest] /kwɛst/
a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something:
a quest for uranium mines; a quest for knowledge.
Medieval Romance. an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something:
the quest of the Holy Grail.
those engaged in such an expedition.
British Dialect. inquest.
Obsolete. a jury of inquest.
verb (used without object)
to search; seek (often followed by for or after):
to quest after hidden treasure.
to go on a quest.
  1. to search for game.
  2. to bay or give tongue in pursuit of game.
verb (used with object)
to search or seek for; pursue.
Origin of quest
1275-1325; (noun) Middle English queste < Old French < Latin quaesīta, feminine past participle of quaerere to seek; (v.) Middle English questen < Old French quester, derivative of the noun
Related forms
quester, noun
questingly, adverb
unquested, adjective
1. hunt, seeking, journey, mission, enterprise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for questing
Historical Examples
  • Dalgard sent out a questing thought, hoping to contact a hopper or even a duck-dog.

    Star Born Andre Norton
  • It was certainly he who, questing for game in the night, marked the trail with his feet.

  • Her face flushed upward, surrendering to that questing glance of his, and its expression was now between tears and laughter.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • After weeks of questing about, we did almost close for one estate.

    The Abandoned Farmers Irvin S. Cobb
  • It was in part a pride of accomplishment and a new affirmation of the self-sufficiency of the questing reason.

  • His hobbies are hunting, fishing, dogs, and questing for new stories.

    Hi Jolly! James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • And still as when it had reared on high beat through it the wild, triumphant, questing pulse.

    The Metal Monster A. Merritt
  • Her questing hand touched his shoulder and crept to his face.

  • The vision vanished abruptly as his questing eyes made the circle of the ruined walls.

    The Tree of Life Catherine Lucille Moore
  • questing new environment, they would be ascending the rivers.

British Dictionary definitions for questing


the act or an instance of looking for or seeking; search: a quest for diamonds
(in medieval romance) an expedition by a knight or company of knights to accomplish some prescribed task, such as finding the Holy Grail
the object of a search; goal or target: my quest is the treasure of the king
(rare) a collection of alms
verb (mainly intransitive)
foll by for or after. to go in search (of)
to go on a quest
(of gun dogs or hounds)
  1. to search for game
  2. to bay when in pursuit of game
(rare) to collect alms
(also transitive) (archaic) to go in search of (a thing); seek or pursue
Derived Forms
quester, noun
questing, adjective
questingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French queste, from Latin quaesita sought, from quaerere to seek
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 questing



c.1300, "an inquest;" early 14c., "a search for something" (especially of judicial inquiries or hounds seeking game), from Old French queste "search, quest, chase, hunt, pursuit; inquest, inquiry" (12c., Modern French quête), properly "the act of seeking," and directly from Medieval Latin questa "search, inquiry," alteration of Latin quaesitus (fem. quaesita) "sought-out, select," past participle of quaerere "seek, gain, ask" (see query (n.)). Romance sense of "adventure undertaken by a knight" (especially the search for the Grail) is attested from late 14c. Johnson's dictionary has questmonger "Starter of lawsuits or prosecutions."



mid-14c., "to seek game, hunt," from quest (n.) and from Old French quester "to search, hunt," from queste (n.). Related: Quested; questing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with questing


see under in search of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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