quarry

1
[ kwawr-ee, kwor-ee ]
/ ˈkwɔr i, ˈkwɒr i /

noun, plural quar·ries.

an excavation or pit, usually open to the air, from which building stone, slate, or the like, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc.
an abundant source or supply.

verb (used with object), quar·ried, quar·ry·ing.

to obtain (stone) from or as if from a quarry.
to make a quarry in.

Origin of quarry

1
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 forms

quar·ri·a·ble, quar·ry·a·ble, adjectiveun·quar·ried, adjective

Can be confused

quarry query

Definition for quarry (2 of 3)

quarry

2
[ kwawr-ee, kwor-ee ]
/ ˈkwɔr i, ˈkwɒr i /

noun, plural quar·ries.

an animal or bird hunted or pursued.
game, especially game hunted with hounds or hawks.
any object of search, pursuit, or attack.

Origin of quarry

2
1275–1325; Middle English querre < Old French cuiree, derivative of cuir skin, hide < Latin corium

Definition for quarry (3 of 3)

quarry

3
[ kwawr-ee, kwor-ee ]
/ ˈkwɔr i, ˈkwɒr i /

noun, plural quar·ries.

a square stone or tile.

Origin of quarry

3
1545–55; noun use of obsolete quarry (adj.) square < Old French quarre < Latin quadrātus quadrate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quarry

British Dictionary definitions for quarry (1 of 3)

quarry

1
/ (ˈkwɒrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

an open surface excavation for the extraction of building stone, slate, marble, etc, by drilling, blasting, or cutting
a copious source of something, esp information

verb -ries, -rying or -ried

to extract (stone, slate, etc) from or as if from a quarry
(tr) to excavate a quarry in
to obtain (something, esp information) diligently and laboriouslyhe was quarrying away in the reference library

Word Origin for quarry

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

British Dictionary definitions for quarry (2 of 3)

quarry

2
/ (ˈkwɒrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

an animal, bird, or fish that is hunted, esp by other animals; prey
anything pursued or hunted

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

British Dictionary definitions for quarry (3 of 3)

quarry

3
/ (ˈkwɒrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

a square or diamond shape
something having this shape
another word for quarrel 2

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