[ kwol-uh-fahy ]
See synonyms for: qualifyqualifiedqualifyingqualificatory on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),qual·i·fied, qual·i·fy·ing.
  1. to provide with proper or necessary skills, knowledge, credentials, etc.; make competent: to qualify oneself for a job.

  2. to modify or limit in some way; make less strong or positive: to qualify an endorsement.

  1. Grammar. to modify.

  2. to make less violent, severe, or unpleasant; moderate; mitigate.

  3. to attribute some quality or qualities to; characterize, call, or name: She cannot qualify his attitude as either rational or irrational.

  4. to modify or alter the flavor or strength of: He qualified his coffee with a few drops of brandy.

  5. Law. to certify as legally competent.

verb (used without object),qual·i·fied, qual·i·fy·ing.
  1. to be fitted or competent for something.

  2. to get authority, license, power, etc., as by fulfilling required conditions, taking an oath, etc.

  1. Sports. to demonstrate the required ability in an initial or preliminary contest: He qualified in the trials.

  2. to fire a rifle or pistol on a target range for a score high enough to achieve a rating of marksman, sharpshooter, or expert.

  3. Military. to pass a practical test in gunnery.

  4. Law. to perform the actions necessary to acquire legal power or capacity: By filing a bond and taking an oath he qualified as executor.

Origin of qualify

First recorded in 1525–35; from Medieval Latin quālificāre, from Latin quāl(is) “of what sort” + -ificāre -ify

synonym study For qualify

2. See modify.

Other words for qualify

Other words from qualify

  • qual·i·fi·ca·to·ry [kwol-uh-fi-kuh-tawr-ree, -tohr-ee], /ˈkwɒl ə fɪ kəˌtɔr ri, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • qual·i·fy·ing·ly, adverb
  • mis·qual·i·fy, verb, mis·qual·i·fied, mis·qual·i·fy·ing.
  • non·qual·i·fy·ing, adjective
  • o·ver·qual·i·fy, verb, o·ver·qual·i·fied, o·ver·qual·i·fy·ing.
  • pre·qual·i·fy, verb, pre·qual·i·fied, pre·qual·i·fy·ing.
  • re·qual·i·fy, verb, re·qual·i·fied, re·qual·i·fy·ing.
  • su·per·qual·i·fy, verb, su·per·qual·i·fied, su·per·qual·i·fy·ing.
  • un·qual·i·fy·ing, adjective
  • un·qual·i·fy·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·re·qual·i·fied, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use qualify in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for qualify


/ (ˈkwɒlɪˌfaɪ) /

verb-fies, -fying or -fied
  1. to provide or be provided with the abilities or attributes necessary for a task, office, duty, etc: his degree qualifies him for the job; he qualifies for the job, but would he do it well?

  2. (tr) to make less strong, harsh, or violent; moderate or restrict

  1. (tr) to modify or change the strength or flavour of

  2. (tr) grammar another word for modify (def. 3)

  3. (tr) to attribute a quality to; characterize

  4. (intr) to progress to the final stages of a competition, as by winning preliminary contests

Origin of qualify

C16: from Old French qualifier, from Medieval Latin quālificāre to characterize, from Latin quālis of what kind + facere to make

Derived forms of qualify

  • qualifiable, adjective
  • qualificatory (ˈkwɒlɪfɪkətərɪ, -ˌkeɪ-), adjective

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