View synonyms for qualify


[ kwol-uh-fahy ]

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.

    Synonyms: equip, prepare, adapt, suit, fit

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

    to qualify an endorsement.

    Synonyms: restrict, narrow

  3. Grammar. to modify.
  4. to make less violent, severe, or unpleasant; moderate; mitigate.

    Synonyms: diminish, reduce, temper, soften, ameliorate

  5. to attribute some quality or qualities to; characterize, call, or name:

    She cannot qualify his attitude as either rational or irrational.

    Synonyms: designate, label

  6. to modify or alter the flavor or strength of:

    He qualified his coffee with a few drops of brandy.

  7. 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.
  3. Sports. to demonstrate the required ability in an initial or preliminary contest:

    He qualified in the trials.

  4. to fire a rifle or pistol on a target range for a score high enough to achieve a rating of marksman, sharpshooter, or expert.
  5. Military. to pass a practical test in gunnery.
  6. Law. to perform the actions necessary to acquire legal power or capacity:

    By filing a bond and taking an oath he qualified as executor.


/ ˈkwɒlɪˌfaɪ; -ˌkeɪ-; ˈkwɒlɪfɪkətərɪ /


  1. to provide or be provided with the abilities or attributes necessary for a task, office, duty, etc

    he qualifies for the job, but would he do it well?

    his degree qualifies him for the job

  2. tr to make less strong, harsh, or violent; moderate or restrict
  3. tr to modify or change the strength or flavour of
  4. tr grammar another word for modify
  5. tr to attribute a quality to; characterize
  6. intr to progress to the final stages of a competition, as by winning preliminary contests

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Derived Forms

  • qualificatory, adjective
  • ˈqualiˌfiable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • qual·i·fi·ca·to·ry [kwol, -, uh, -fi-k, uh, -tawr-ree, -tohr-ee], adjective
  • quali·fying·ly adverb
  • mis·quali·fy verb misqualified misqualifying
  • non·quali·fying adjective
  • over·quali·fy verb overqualified overqualifying
  • pre·quali·fy verb prequalified prequalifying
  • re·quali·fy verb requalified requalifying
  • super·quali·fy verb superqualified superqualifying
  • un·quali·fying adjective
  • un·quali·fying·ly adverb
  • unre·quali·fied adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of qualify1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of qualify1

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

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Synonym Study

See modify.

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Example Sentences

While they are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a House staff member estimated that tens of thousands have incomes low enough that they would qualify for the stimulus aid if they were eligible.

The court ruled 9 to 0 that the lawsuit did not qualify for the limited exception in federal law that generally restricts American courts from hearing lawsuits against foreign governments.

A whistleblower noticed that lenders were shuffling loan financing from one bond to another to increase the volume of loans that qualified for the subsidies.

She had spent hours trying to find her father an appointment, once he had qualified for a vaccine under Texas rules.

The model currently gives Liverpool just a 4 percent chance to win the league and a 66 percent chance to qualify for the Champions League.

Magazines are the only thing in my apartment that qualify as clutter.

Another unknown is how many from that pool will eventually qualify.

We cannot qualify it based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history.

To qualify for special protection, Marmolejos wrote, Doyle would have to have disclosed “substantial” law-breaking by the lab.

Qualification is exacting, and a majority of the teams that do qualify are from the West.

If he fails to qualify or a vacancy occurs, the creditors have an opportunity to make another appointment.

They had received power sufficient to qualify them to preach that the "kingdom of heaven was at hand."

At breakfast next morning he was induced to qualify his satisfaction to some extent—but very slightly.

My readers in the two previous chapters have drunk raw spirit, and must now qualify it after the Scotch fashion.

The personal and moral influence of Mr. O'Brien were such as to qualify him to be a leader.