Definition of qua
: in the capacity or character of : as discussing the story qua story
qua was our Word of the Day on 07/01/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Which way? Who? No, we're not paraphrasing lines from the old Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on First?" We're referring to the etymology of qua, a term that comes to us from Latin. It can be translated as "which way" or "as," and it is a derivative of the Latin qui, meaning "who." Qua has been serving English in the capacity of a preposition since the 17th century. It's a learned but handy little word that led one 20th-century usage writer to comment: "Qua is sometimes thought affected or pretentious, but it does convey meaning economically."
QUA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of qua for English Language Learners
: in the character or role of (someone or something)
Legal Definition of qua
: in the capacity or character of a legitimate interest of the stockholder qua stockholder
Origin and Etymology of qua
Latin, which way, as, from ablative singular feminine of qui who
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