[ kwol-i-tey-tiv ]
/ ˈkwɒl ɪˌteɪ tɪv /


pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities.

Nearby words

  1. qualificator,
  2. qualified,
  3. qualified majority voting,
  4. qualifier,
  5. qualify,
  6. qualitative analysis,
  7. qualitative identity,
  8. quality,
  9. quality assurance,
  10. quality circle

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

Examples from the Web for qualitative

British Dictionary definitions for qualitative


/ (ˈkwɒlɪtətɪv, -ˌteɪ-) /


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