- an uneasy feeling or pang of conscience as to conduct; compunction: He has no qualms about lying.
- a sudden feeling of apprehensive uneasiness; misgiving: a sudden qualm about the success of the venture.
- a sudden sensation or onset of faintness or illness, especially of nausea.
Origin of qualm
Related Words for qualmsnervousness, anxiety, hesitation, apprehension, twinge, reluctance, unease, misgiving, objection, pang, remorse, disquiet, uneasiness, conscience, compunction, perturbation, regret, agitation, insecurity, uncertainty
Examples from the Web for qualms
Contemporary Examples of qualms
Incidentally, Rousteing has no qualms with fast-fashion brands appropriating his designs either.The Big Business of Fashion Counterfeits
December 24, 2014
But there is something admirable about what it is doing, and about the fact that it has no qualms about it.‘Red Band Society’ Is Really Freaking Sad (And May Be TV’s Best New Drama)
September 17, 2014
Qualms about violence versus sex aside, the book is a finely spun tale.A Fantasy Titan Invades the YA Kingdom
July 18, 2014
Our guide had no qualms about asking us to sleep closer, and, when we refused, he informed us he hated us.A Little Too Off the Beaten Path in Burma
June 2, 2014
Even those young evangelicals who still have qualms about gay marriage can find friends outside the wagon circling.World Vision’s Gay Compromise
March 26, 2014
Historical Examples of qualms
He feared the swordfish would ram us, and I had some qualms myself.Tales of Fishes
Personally I have no qualms of conscience about this piece of work.A Set of Six
They cheered her, and she put aside her qualms and her fears as best she was able.Joan of Arc of the North Woods
The darkness veiled the ravine; to my astonishment I felt no qualms.In Kings' Byways
Stanley J. Weyman
We have no qualms about yellow and white and the oriental intermediate hues.Adventures in the Arts
- a sudden feeling of sickness or nausea
- a pang or sudden feeling of doubt, esp concerning moral conduct; scruple
- a sudden sensation of misgiving or unease
Word Origin for qualm
Word Origin and History for qualms
Old English cwealm (West Saxon) "death, murder, slaughter; disaster; plague; torment," utcualm (Anglian) "utter destruction," probably related to cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," cwelan "to die" (see quell). Sense softened to "feeling of faintness" 1520s; figurative meaning "uneasiness, doubt" is from 1550s; that of "scruple of conscience" is 1640s.
Evidence of a direct path from the Old English to the modern senses is wanting, but it is plausible, via the notion of "fit of sickness." The other suggested etymology, less satisfying, is to take the "fit of uneasiness" sense from Dutch kwalm "steam, vapor, mist" (cognate with German Qualm "smoke, vapor, stupor"), which also might be ultimately from the same Germanic root as quell.