[ kwest ]
/ kwɛst /


verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to search or seek for; pursue.



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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

historical usage of 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).


quester, nounquest·ing·ly, adverbun·quest·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for quest

  • I mean the higher law that is found at last by the quester after goodness, beauty and truth.

    The Hive|Will Levington Comfort
  • Even now, the Quester's adventure is a desperate one—few there be that find It.

    The Secret Glory|Arthur Machen
  • The nation of scholars pictured the quester as a student, not as a knight.

  • As regards the quester himself, the maiden he thus woos is his reward and the noblest prize earth has to offer him.

British Dictionary definitions for quest

/ (kwɛst) /


verb (mainly intr)

Derived forms of quest

quester, nounquesting, adjectivequestingly, adverb

Word Origin for quest

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

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.