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verb (used with object), quit or quit·ted, quit·ting.
  1. to stop, cease, or discontinue: She quit what she was doing to help me paint the house.
  2. to depart from; leave (a place or person): They quit the city for the seashore every summer.
  3. to give up or resign; let go; relinquish: He quit his claim to the throne. She quit her job.
  4. to release one's hold of (something grasped).
  5. to acquit or conduct (oneself).
  6. to free or rid (oneself): to quit oneself of doubts.
  7. to clear (a debt); repay.
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verb (used without object), quit or quit·ted, quit·ting.
  1. to cease from doing something; stop.
  2. to give up or resign one's job or position: He keeps threatening to quit.
  3. to depart or leave.
  4. to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.
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  1. released from obligation, penalty, etc.; free, clear, or rid (usually followed by of): quit of all further responsibilities.
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Origin of quit1

1175–1225; (adj.) Middle English quit(te) exempt, freed, acquitted of (< Old French quite) < Medieval Latin quittus, by-form of quītus (≫ Middle English quit(e); see quite), for Latin quiētus quiet1; (v.) Middle English quit(t)en to pay, acquit oneself < Old French quit(t)er < Medieval Latin quittāre, quiētāre to release, discharge, Late Latin quiētare to put to rest, quiet1
Related formsquit·ta·ble, adjectiveun·quit·ted, adjective
Can be confusedquiet quit quite


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3. surrender, release. 12. acquitted, discharged.


1, 8. start. 2. enter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for quitting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I felt more, in quitting this ship, than I did in quitting Halifax.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • After quitting the light, we made the best of our way for the town.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The idea of remaining in the brig was unpleasant to me, and I had thought of quitting her for some days.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I cannot give any reason but caprice for quitting this ship.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The men did not relish the idea of quitting the spot; but, after some talk, they came into my plan.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for quitting


verb quits or quitting or quitted or mainly US quit
  1. (tr) to depart from; leavehe quitted the place hastily
  2. to resign; give up (a job)he quitted his job today
  3. (intr) (of a tenant) to give up occupancy of premises and leave themthey received notice to quit
  4. to desist or cease from (something or doing something); break offquit laughing
  5. (tr) to pay off (a debt); discharge or settle
  6. (tr) archaic to conduct or acquit (oneself); comport (oneself)he quits himself with great dignity
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  1. (usually predicative foll by of) free (from); released (from)he was quit of all responsibility for their safety
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French quitter, from Latin quiētus quiet; see quietus
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 quitting



c.1200, "free, clear" (of debt, etc.), from Old French quite, quitte "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (see quiet (adj.)).

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c.1200, "to repay, discharge" (a debt, etc.), from Old French quiter "clear, establish one's innocence;" also transitive, "release, let go, relinquish, abandon" (12c.), from quite (see quit (adj.)).

Meaning "to reward, give reward" is mid-13c., that of "take revenge; to answer, retort" and "to acquit oneself" are late 14c. From c.1300 as "to acquit (of a charge), declare not guilty." Sense of "leave, depart" is attested from c.1400; that of "stop" (doing something) is from 1640s. Meaning "to give up, relinquish" is from mid-15c. Related: Quitted; quitting. Quitting time is from 1835.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with quitting


In addition to the idiom beginning with quit

  • quite a bit
  • quit while one's ahead

also see:

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