pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities.

Origin of qualitative

1600–10; < Late Latin quālitātīvus, equivalent to quālitāt- (stem of quālitās) quality + -īvus -ive
Related formsqual·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbnon·qual·i·ta·tive, adjectivenon·qual·i·ta·tive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedqualitative quantitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for qualitative

subjective, approximate, conditional, dependent, partial

Examples from the Web for qualitative

Contemporary Examples of qualitative

Historical Examples of qualitative

  • Cases of complete anosmia and qualitative obtuseness are not uncommon.

    Criminal Man

    Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

  • It has always been known that there is qualitative relation.

    Mind and Motion and Monism

    George John Romanes

  • Labor, Marx pointed out, has two sides, the qualitative and the quantitative.


    John Spargo

  • That this is only quantitative, not qualitative, he has already shown.

  • The infinity of God is not a quantitative, but a qualitative infinity.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy

    Benjamin Franklin Cocker

British Dictionary definitions for qualitative



involving or relating to distinctions based on quality or qualitiesCompare quantitative
Derived Formsqualitatively, adverb
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 qualitative

early 15c., "that produces a (physical) quality," from Medieval Latin qualitativus "relating to quality," from stem of Latin qualitas "a quality, property, nature" (see quality). Meaning "concerned with quality" is from c.1600 in English, from French qualitatif or Medieval Latin qualitativus. Related: Qualitatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper