quite

[ kwahyt ]
/ kwaɪt /

adverb

completely, wholly, or entirely: quite the reverse; not quite finished.
actually, really, or truly: quite a sudden change.
to a considerable extent or degree: quite small; quite objectionable.

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Origin of quite

1300–50; Middle English, adv. use of quit(e), a variant of quit(te) quit1, the meaning of the two forms not being distinct in Middle English

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH quite

quiet quit quite
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does quite mean?

Quite can mean “completely,” “truly,” or “very,” but it is also sometimes used to mean “somewhat.”

Quite can be used to intensify the meaning of some adjectives, but it can also be used to soften the meaning of others.

Example: The sky is quite dreary today.

Where does quite come from?

Evidence for the usage of quite in English is first recorded in the first half of the 1300s. It comes from a Middle English term that meant quit, and it is related to both quit and quiet.

Quite has quite a few slightly different meanings. It is often used to add some kind of emphasis, but sometimes it is used to do the opposite, so it can be quite confusing unless you can use the context of the sentence to figure out which meaning is intended. Quite can mean “completely” or “entirely,” as in quite the opposite or not quite done yet. It can also be used in ways that emphasize that something is considerable or exceptional, as in quite a lot or that was quite the adventure. However, quite can also mean “somewhat.” If someone says you’re quite intelligent, it may be unclear whether they’re saying you’re very intelligent or pretty intelligent (for your age, for example). (Feel free to take it as a compliment either way.)

Sometimes, quite is used as a sentence substitute, meaning it can be used in place of a sentence, usually in response to something. When used this way, it indicates agreement or an affirmative response (equivalent to yes).

Does quite have a lot of uses? Quite.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for quite?

What are some words that share a root or word element with quite

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing quite?

How is quite used in real life?

Quite is used quite commonly. Be careful when using it to mean “very” or “somewhat” so that the meaning isn’t unclear.

 

 

Try using quite!

Which of the following sentences does not use quite correctly?

A. This is quite nice.
B. That is quite the opposite of my intention.
C. I quite like this tea.
D. That dress is very quite.

Example sentences from the Web for quite

British Dictionary definitions for quite

quite
/ (kwaɪt) /

adverb

to the greatest extent; completely or absolutelyyou're quite right; quite the opposite
(not used with a negative) to a noticeable or partial extent; somewhatshe's quite pretty
in actuality; trulyhe thought the bag was heavy, but it was quite light; it's quite the thing to do
quite a (not used with a negative) of an exceptional, considerable, or noticeable kindquite a girl; quite a long walk
quite something a remarkable or noteworthy thing or person

sentence substitute

Also: quite so an expression used to indicate agreement or assent

Word Origin for quite

C14: adverbial use of quite (adj) quit

undefined quite

See very
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