[ kwah-lee, -ley, kwey- ]
/ ˈkwɑ li, -leɪ, ˈkweɪ- /

noun, plural qua·li·a [kwah-lee-uh, kwey-] /ˈkwɑ li ə, ˈkweɪ-/. Philosophy.

a quality, as bitterness, regarded as an independent object.
a sense-datum or feeling having a distinctive quality.

Nearby words

  1. quaking,
  2. quaking aspen,
  3. quaking bog,
  4. quaking grass,
  5. quaky,
  6. qualifiable,
  7. qualification,
  8. qualificator,
  9. qualified,
  10. qualified majority voting

Origin of quale

1665–75; < Latin quāle, neuter singular of quālis of what sort

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for qualia

British Dictionary definitions for qualia


/ (ˈkwɑːlɪ, ˈkweɪ-) /

noun plural -lia (-lɪə)

philosophy an essential property or quality

Word Origin for quale

C17: Latin, neuter singular of qualis of what kind

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 qualia



"death, destruction," Old English cwalu, cognate with Old Norse kval "torment, torture," from a variant of the root of quell.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper