• 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 quarry1

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

Examples from the Web for quarrying

Historical Examples

  • Where properly distributed, they may facilitate the quarrying of the stone.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

    C. K. Leith

  • The work of quarrying and removal is done with the utmost care.

    The Book of the National Parks

    Robert Sterling Yard

  • In short, they had to invent the art of quarrying and working mines.

  • Here they remained for a day quarrying pipestone and fashioning pipes.

  • We know almost less about the transportation than the quarrying of obelisks.

    The New York Obelisk

    Charles E. Moldenke

British Dictionary definitions for quarrying


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

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

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

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 quarrying



"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