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  1. a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something: a quest for uranium mines; a quest for knowledge.
  2. Medieval Romance. an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something: the quest of the Holy Grail.
  3. those engaged in such an expedition.
  4. British Dialect. inquest.
  5. 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.
  3. Hunting. (of a dog)
    1. to search for game.
    2. to bay or give tongue in pursuit of game.
verb (used with object)
  1. to search or seek for; pursue.

Origin of quest

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English queste < Old French < Latin quaesīta, feminine past participle of quaerere to seek; (v.) Middle English questen < Old French quester, derivative of the noun
Related formsquest·er, nounquest·ing·ly, adverbun·quest·ed, adjective

Synonyms for quest

See more synonyms for on
1. hunt, seeking, journey, mission, enterprise. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for questing

Historical Examples of questing

  • It was near, and the questing, expectant note caught her ear.

    The Coast of Chance

    Esther Chamberlain

  • It does not inspire them to Questing—man's real and most significant business.

    Child and Country

    Will Levington Comfort

  • It was certainly he who, questing for game in the night, marked the trail with his feet.

  • After weeks of questing about, we did almost close for one estate.

  • His nose was thin and aquiline, with nostrils that seemed forever to be questing.

    Hi Jolly!

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

British Dictionary definitions for questing


  1. the act or an instance of looking for or seeking; searcha 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
  3. the object of a search; goal or targetmy quest is the treasure of the king
  4. 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
  3. (of gun dogs or hounds)
    1. to search for game
    2. to bay when in pursuit of game
  4. rare to collect alms
  5. (also tr) archaic to go in search of (a thing); seek or pursue
Derived Formsquester, 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

Word Origin and History for questing



c.1300, "an inquest;" early 14c., "a search for something" (especially of judicial inquiries or hounds seeking game), from Old French queste "search, quest, chase, hunt, pursuit; inquest, inquiry" (12c., Modern French quête), properly "the act of seeking," and directly from Medieval Latin questa "search, inquiry," alteration of Latin quaesitus (fem. quaesita) "sought-out, select," past participle of quaerere "seek, gain, ask" (see query (n.)). Romance sense of "adventure undertaken by a knight" (especially the search for the Grail) is attested from late 14c. Johnson's dictionary has questmonger "Starter of lawsuits or prosecutions."



mid-14c., "to seek game, hunt," from quest (n.) and from Old French quester "to search, hunt," from queste (n.). Related: Quested; questing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with questing


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.