See more synonyms for quits on Thesaurus.com
  1. call it quits,
    1. to end one's activity, especially temporarily: At 10 o'clock I decided to call it quits for the day.
    2. to abandon an effort.
  2. cry quits, to agree to end competition and consider both sides equal: It became too dark to continue play and they decided to cry quits.

Origin of quits

1470–80; perhaps < Medieval Latin quittus quit1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for call it quits


adjective (postpositive)
  1. on an equal footing; evennow we are quits
  2. call it quits to agree to end a dispute, contest, etc, agreeing that honours are even
  1. an exclamation indicating willingness to give up
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

Word Origin and History for call it quits



"even" (with another), 1660s; earlier "discharged of a liability" (c.1200), perhaps from Medieval Latin quittus (see quit (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with call it quits

call it quits

Stop working, abandon something, give up, as in John is calling it quits for now or This ground is far too stony for a garden so I'm calling it quits. This idiom comes from cry quits, dating from the 1600s and meaning “declare even” or “get even.” The verb call was substituted in the late 1800s. Also see call it a day.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.