Origin of quite
Words nearby quite
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.
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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.
After 13 years of friendship I still don't hate you. It's quite the opposite. Happy birthday @michael5sos
— Calum Hood (@Calum5SOS) November 21, 2015
From someone who won't go to kitchen to fetch a glass of water to one managing whole kitchen inc cooking & cleaning – I've made quite a leap
— Baji Please (@BajiPlease) June 10, 2017
It's quite nice to see the rain again. I think the grass must be doing a happy dance.
— Paddington (@paddingtonbear) August 9, 2018
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.
How to use quite in a sentence
None of these, though, has inspired quite the same backlash as fluoride.
The benefits of incumbency are quite potent, especially in the all-important area of raising campaign funds.
The media tend to frame situations like this as aberrations, but in this case, quite the opposite is the truth.
You have to acknowledge your age and position in life, for me quite a lot of those emotionally fueled songs were hormone songs.
But quite unlike the schmuck, and this is the fun part, they never run up the white flag; indeed quite the opposite.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game|Michael Tomasky|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Mrs. Wurzel was quite right; they had been supplied, regardless of cost, from Messrs. Rochet and Stole's well-known establishment.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
She is quite true, but not wise, and your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Solely over one man therein thou hast quite absolute control.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
And furthermore, I imagine something else about this—quite unlike the old Bible—I imagine all of it periodically revised.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
Sometimes the stems are quite bare; on other occasions they are partly branched; in any case the branches are short.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin