a portion of something, especially tobacco, that is to be chewed but not swallowed.

Origin of quid

First recorded in 1720–30; dialectal variant of cud



noun, plural quid.

British Informal. one pound sterling.

Origin of quid

First recorded in 1680–90; origin uncertain

quid pro quo

[kwid proh kwoh]

noun, plural quid pro quos, quids pro quo.

something that is given or taken in return for something else.

Origin of quid pro quo

1555–65; Latin quid prō quō literally, something for something; see what, pro1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quid

Contemporary Examples of quid

Historical Examples of quid

  • When he had finished, Klaus sat for a while in silence, chewing his quid.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • He paused, looked hard at me, and turned his quid reflectively.

    In Direst Peril

    David Christie Murray

  • I did and in the parlor was the biggest kind of an ox standing there chewing his quid.

  • There is no longer any quid pro quo for her alliance with France.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • Now my dear old Lizzie, don't pretend to be shocked at the word 'quid.'

    Tom Gerrard

    Louis Becke

British Dictionary definitions for quid




a piece of tobacco, suitable for chewing

Word Origin for quid

Old English cwidu chewing resin; related to Old High German quiti glue, Old Norse kvātha resin; see cud



noun plural quid

British slang one pound sterling
quids in British slang in a very favourable or advantageous position
not the full quid Australian and NZ slang mentally subnormal

Word Origin for quid

C17: of obscure origin

quid pro quo

noun plural quid pro quos

a reciprocal exchange
something given in compensation, esp an advantage or object given in exchange for another

Word Origin for quid pro quo

C16: from Latin: something for something
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 quid

"bite-sized piece" (of tobacco, etc.), 1727, dialectal variant of Middle English cudde, from Old English cudu, cwidu (see cud).


"one pound sterling," 1680s, British slang, possibly from quid "that which is, essence," (c.1600, see quiddity), as used in quid pro quo (q.v.), or directly from Latin quid "what, something, anything." Cf. French quibus, noted in Barrêre's dictionary of French argot (1889) for "money, cash," said to be short for quibus fiunt omnia.

quid pro quo

1560s, from Latin, literally "something for something, one thing for another," from nominative and ablative neuter singulars of relative pronoun qui "who" (see who) + pro "for" (see pro-) + quo, ablative of quid.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for quid

quid pro quo

[(kwid proh kwoh)]

A fair exchange; the phrase is most frequently used in diplomacy: “The Chinese may make some concessions on trade, but they will no doubt demand a quid pro quo, so we must be prepared to make concessions too.” From Latin, meaning “something for something.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with quid

quid pro quo

An equal exchange or substitution, as in I think it should be quid pro quo—you mow the lawn and I'll take you to the movies. This Latin expression, meaning “something for something,” has been used in English since the late 1500s.

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