• synonyms


[kwawr-ee, kwor-ee]
See more synonyms for quarry on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural quar·ries.
  1. an excavation or pit, usually open to the air, from which building stone, slate, or the like, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc.
  2. an abundant source or supply.
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verb (used with object), quar·ried, quar·ry·ing.
  1. to obtain (stone) from or as if from a quarry.
  2. to make a quarry in.
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Origin of quarry

1375–1425; Middle English quarey (noun) < Medieval Latin quareia, variant of quareria < Old French quarriere < Vulgar Latin *quadrāria place where stone is squared, derivative of Latin quadrāre to square
Related formsquar·ri·a·ble, quar·ry·a·ble, adjectiveun·quar·ried, adjective
Can be confusedquarry query
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for quarried

unearth, shovel, extract, excavate, drill, search, dredge, discover, penetrate, exhume, bulldoze, scoop, sift, burrow, clean, enter, uncover, bore, gouge, harvest

Examples from the Web for quarried

Contemporary Examples of quarried

Historical Examples of quarried

  • The Derbyshire marbles are quarried all about, and mosaic manufacture is carried on.

  • Here, too, the granite for building the country's defences and docks is quarried.


    M. Pearson Thomson

  • The bulk of the quarried stone has the colour and greasy look of raw pork.

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

  • Fire, chisel, and hammer at work on these three rocks; but, they are all quarried first.

    Flamsted quarries

    Mary E. Waller

  • The cell is formed of four quarried blocks, which are laid one over the other.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

British Dictionary definitions for quarried


noun plural -ries
  1. an open surface excavation for the extraction of building stone, slate, marble, etc, by drilling, blasting, or cutting
  2. a copious source of something, esp information
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verb -ries, -rying or -ried
  1. to extract (stone, slate, etc) from or as if from a quarry
  2. (tr) to excavate a quarry in
  3. to obtain (something, esp information) diligently and laboriouslyhe was quarrying away in the reference library
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Word Origin for quarry

C15: from Old French quarriere, from quarre (unattested) square-shaped stone, from Latin quadrāre to make square


noun plural -ries
  1. an animal, bird, or fish that is hunted, esp by other animals; prey
  2. anything pursued or hunted
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Word Origin for quarry

C14 quirre entrails offered to the hounds, from Old French cuirée what is placed on the hide, from cuir hide, from Latin corium leather; probably also influenced by Old French coree entrails, from Latin cor heart


noun plural -ries
  1. a square or diamond shape
  2. something having this shape
  3. another word for quarrel 2
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Word Origin for quarry

C16: from Old French quarré; see quarrel ²
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 quarried



"what is hunted," early 14c., quirre "entrails of deer placed on the hide and given to dogs of the chase as a reward," from Anglo-French quirreie, Old French cuiriee "the spoil, quarry" (Modern French curée), altered (by influence of Old French cuir "skin," from Latin corium "hide"), from Old French corée "viscera, entrails," from Vulgar Latin *corata "entrails," from Latin cor "heart" (see heart). Sense of "anything chased in hunt" is first recorded 1610s; earlier "bird targeted by a hawk or other raptor" (late 15c.).

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"open place where rocks are excavated," c.1400 (mid-13c. as a place name), from Medieval Latin quareia, dissimilated from quarreria (mid-13c.), literally "place where stones are squared," from Latin quadrare "to square" (see quadrant).

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1774, from quarry (n.2). Related: Quarried; quarrying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper