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Webster 1913 Edition


Quality

Qual′i-ty

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Qualities
(#)
.
[F.
qualité
, L.
qualitas
, fr.
qualis
how constituted, as; akin to E.
which
. See
Which
.]
1.
The condition of being of such and such a sort as distinguished from others; nature or character relatively considered, as of goods; character; sort; rank.
We lived most joyful, obtaining acquaintance with many of the city not of the meanest
quality
.
Bacon
2.
Special or temporary character; profession; occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position.
I made that inquiry in
quality
of an antiquary.
Gray.
3.
That which makes, or helps to make, anything such as it is; anything belonging to a subject, or predicable of it; distinguishing property, characteristic, or attribute; peculiar power, capacity, or virtue; distinctive trait;
as, the tones of a flute differ from those of a violin in
quality
; the great
quality
of a statesman.
Qualities, in metaphysics, are primary or secondary. Primary are those essential to the existence, and even the conception, of the thing, as of matter or spirit Secondary are those not essential to such a conception.
4.
An acquired trait; accomplishment; acquisition.
He had those
qualities
of horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good breeding.
Clarendon.
5.
Superior birth or station; high rank; elevated character.
“Persons of quality.”
Bacon.
Quality binding
,
a kind of worsted tape used in Scotland for binding carpets, and the like.
The quality
,
those of high rank or station, as distinguished from
the masses
, or common people; the nobility; the gentry.
I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers, that
the quality
may see how pretty they will look in their traveling habits.
Addison.
Syn. – Property; attribute; nature; peculiarity; character; sort; rank; disposition; temper.

Webster 1828 Edition


Quality

QUAL'ITY

,
Noun.
[L. qualitas, from qualis, such.]
1.
Property; that which belongs to a body or substance, or can be predicated of it. Qualities are natural or accidental. thus whiteness is a natural quality of snow; softness is a natural quality of wool and fur; hardness is a natural quality of metals and wood; figure and dimension are the natural qualities of solids; but a particular figure, as a cube, a square or a sphere, is an accidental or adventitious quality. The fluidity of metals is an accidental quality. Essential qualities are such as are necessary to constitute a thing what it is. Sensible qualities are such as are perceptible to the senses, as the light of the sun, the color of cloth, the taste of salt or sugar, &c.
2.
Nature, relatively considered; as the quality of an action, in regard to right and wrong.
Other creatures have not judgment to examine the quality of that which is done by them.
3.
Virtue or particular power of producing certain effects; as the qualities of plants or medicines.
4.
Disposition; temper.
Tonight we'll wander through the streets, and note the qualities of people.
5.
Virtue or vice; as good qualities, or bad qualities.
6.
Acquirement; accomplishment; as the qualities of horsemanship, dancing and fencing.
7.
Character.
The attorney partakes of both qualities, that of a judge of the court, and that of attorney general.
8.
Comparative rank; condition in relation to others; as people of every quality.
We obtained acquaintance with many citizens, not of the meanest quality.
9.
Superior rank; superiority of birth or station; as persons of quality; ladies of quality.
10.
Persons of high rank, collectively.
I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers, that the quality may see how pretty they will look in their traveling habits.

Definition 2021


quality

quality

English

Noun

quality (countable and uncountable, plural qualities)

  1. (uncountable) Level of excellence.
    This school is well-known for having teachers of high quality.
    Quality of life is usually determined by health, education, and income.
  2. (countable) A property or an attribute that differentiates a thing or person.
    One of the qualities of pure iron is that it does not rust easily.
    While being impulsive can be great for artists, it is not a desirable quality for engineers.
    Security, stability, and efficiency are good qualities of an operating system.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, “chapter XX”, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      “That's life,” she said, and buzzed off to keep her vigil, leaving me kicking myself because I'd forgotten to say anything about the quality of mercy not being strained. It isn't, as I dare say you know, and a mention of this might just have done the trick.
    • 2010, Stanley Elkin, A Bad Man:
      Something about his bearing was uncommitted, as though he were checking not for some bad quality he knew Feldman had, but for some good quality he was afraid he might have.
  3. (archaic) High social position. (See also the quality.)
    A peasant is not allowed to fall in love with a lady of quality.
    Membership of this golf club is limited to those of quality and wealth.
  4. (uncountable) The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items.
  5. (thermodynamics) In a two-phase liquidvapor mixture, the ratio of the mass of vapor present to the total mass of the mixture.
  6. (emergency medicine, countable) The third step in OPQRST where the responder investigates what the NOI/MOI feels like.
    To identify quality try asking, "what does it feel like?".

Usage notes

  • Adjectives often applied to "quality": high, good, excellent, exceptional, great, outstanding, satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, adequate, poor, low, bad, inferior, dubious, environmental, visual, optical, industrial, total, artistic, educational, physical, musical, chemical, spiritual, intellectual, architectural, mechanical.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:characteristic

Coordinate terms

  • (a property that differentiates): quiddity

Hyponyms

  • human quality
  • industrial quality

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

References

Adjective

quality (comparative more quality, superlative most quality)

  1. Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose.
    We only sell quality products.
    That was a quality game by Jim Smith.
    A quality system ensures products meet customer requirements.
    • a. 2003,, John Ahier, John Beck, Rob Moore, quoting Harriet (a Cambridge University student), Graduate Citizens?: Issues of Citizenship and Higher Education, Routledge, published 2003, ISBN 978-0-415-25722-0, page 114:
      I mean a lot of the money that obviously goes into universities and their libraries and their facilities and their academics and stuff but I mean I haven’t had a very quality degree to be honest. I think the quality of my education has been crap . . .
    • 2004, Vance M. Thompson, MD, J. Kevin Belville and Ronald J. Smith, editors, LASIK Techniques: Pearls and Pitfalls, SLACK Incorporated, ISBN 978-1-55642-622-3, page 187:
      For one I wanted to have what I considered a very quality tracking device.
    • 2008, Carl Erskine, in Fay Vincent, We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4165-5342-7, page 144:
      A very quality ball club; that was the Braves.

Derived terms

Translations

Related terms