\ ˈkwä also ˈkwā \

Definition of qua 

: in the capacity or character of : as discussing the story qua story

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."

First Known Use of qua

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for qua

Latin, which way, as, from ablative singular feminine of qui who — more at who

Latin, which way, as, from ablative singular feminine of qui who

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Time Traveler for qua

The first known use of qua was in 1647

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English Language Learners Definition of qua

: in the character or role of (someone or something)

\ ˈkwä, ˈkwā \

Legal Definition of qua 

: in the capacity or character of a legitimate interest of the stockholder qua stockholder

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