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!
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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