noun \ˈkwäm also ˈkwm or ˈkwälm\

: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about whether you are doing the right thing

Full Definition of QUALM

:  a sudden attack of illness, faintness, or nausea
:  a sudden access of usually disturbing emotion (as doubt or fear)
:  a feeling of uneasiness about a point especially of conscience or propriety
qualmy adjective

Examples of QUALM

  1. He accepted their offer without a qualm.
  2. <she has no qualms about downloading pirated music files from the Internet>

Origin of QUALM

origin unknown
First Known Use: circa 1530

Synonym Discussion of QUALM

qualm, scruple, compunction, demur mean a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do. qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment <no qualms about plagiarizing>. scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle <no scruples against buying stolen goods>. compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim <had compunctions about lying>. demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence <accepted her decision without demur>.


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