[ kwest ]
See synonyms for: questquestedquestingquests on

  1. a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something: a quest for uranium mines;a quest for knowledge.

  2. Classical and Medieval Legend. an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something: the quest of the Holy Grail.

  1. those engaged in such an expedition.

  2. British Dialect. inquest.

  3. Obsolete. a jury of inquest.

verb (used without object)
  1. to search; seek (often followed by for or after): to quest after hidden treasure.

  2. to go on a quest.

  1. Hunting. (of a dog)

    • to search for game.

    • to bay or give tongue in pursuit of game.

verb (used with object)
  1. to search or seek for; pursue.

Origin of quest

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English noun queste, from Old French, from Latin quaesīta, feminine past participle of quaerere “to seek”; Middle English verb derivative of the noun

word story For quest

The Middle English noun quest, originally meaning “inquest, judicial inquiry,” also, in hunting, “a search after game, baying of hounds,” comes partly from Old French queste with the same meanings. Quest also comes from Medieval Latin questa, quaesta, short for rēs quaesita, “a thing sought out, a question,” from the feminine past participle of quaerere “to try to find, seek, seek out.”
Quest in the hunting sense “baying of hounds” first appears in the wonderful Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (about 1390). In Arthurian and chivalric romances, quest in the sense “an expedition undertaken by a knight or band of knights to attain a specific goal” dates from Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (1485).

Other words for quest

Other words from quest

  • quester, noun
  • quest·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·quest·ed, adjective

Words Nearby quest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use quest in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for quest


/ (kwɛst) /

  1. the act or an instance of looking for or seeking; search: a quest for diamonds

  2. (in medieval romance) an expedition by a knight or company of knights to accomplish some prescribed task, such as finding the Holy Grail

  1. the object of a search; goal or target: my quest is the treasure of the king

  2. rare a collection of alms

verb(mainly intr)
  1. (foll by for or after) to go in search (of)

  2. to go on a quest

  1. (of gun dogs or hounds)

    • to search for game

    • to bay when in pursuit of game

  2. rare to collect alms

  3. (also tr) archaic to go in search of (a thing); seek or pursue

Origin of quest

C14: from Old French queste, from Latin quaesita sought, from quaerere to seek

Derived forms of quest

  • quester, noun
  • questing, adjective
  • questingly, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with quest


see under in search of.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.