qual·​i·​fy | \ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī \
qualified; qualifying

Definition of qualify 

transitive verb

1a : to reduce from a general to a particular or restricted form : modify

b : to make less harsh or strict : moderate

c : to alter the strength or flavor of

d : to limit or modify the meaning of qualify a noun

2 : to characterize by naming an attribute : describe cannot qualify it as … either glad or sorry— T. S. Eliot

3a : to fit by training, skill, or ability for a special purpose

b(1) : to declare competent or adequate : certify

(2) : to invest with legal capacity : license

intransitive verb

1 : to be or become fit (as for an office) : meet the required standard

2 : to acquire legal or competent power or capacity has just qualified as a lawyer

3a : to exhibit a required degree of ability in a preliminary contest qualified for the finals

b : to shoot well enough to earn a marksmanship badge

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Synonyms for qualify



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Examples of qualify in a Sentence

His experience qualifies him for the job. The training will qualify you to sell insurance. They both qualify for the job. Did she qualify to receive financial aid? Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. The win qualifies her to compete in the final race. The certification qualifies you to teach only in this state.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, those who work within YouTube’s Partner Program — a tier that allows the company to run ads on videos, letting creators earn ad revenue through Google’s AdSense — will simply qualify. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Decision comes ahead of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launch," 29 Nov. 2018 The jellied cylinder qualifies as sauce only by relation, like a legacy applicant at Yale. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Canned cranberry sauce, explained," 21 Nov. 2018 Only the first 200,000 cars sold qualify for the full credit. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "New Bill Could Save Tesla's $7,500 Tax Credit," 19 Oct. 2018 According to Oldenburg’s parameters, Starbucks would largely qualify. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 And to the north, House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, qualified for the general election ballot as well. Gregg Re, Fox News, "California's key primaries: Trump-backed John Cox outpaces Villaraigosa for governor, Feinstein takes top spot in Senate contest," 2 Oct. 2018 And this week’s sale qualifies as a celebration, according to Ed Felsenthal, Time’s editor in chief. Peter Kafka, Recode, "After Benioff’s big deal, Time is bringing back the bar cart," 17 Sep. 2018 The nation's largest broadband industry lobby groups have sued Vermont to stop a state law that requires ISPs to follow net neutrality principles in order to qualify for government contracts. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law," 19 Oct. 2018 The two-day Madden Classic qualifying event at Jacksonville Landing drew 256 players from around the country to face off at the controls of the classic football video game. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Jacksonville Madden tournament targeted by gunman was early qualifier," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'qualify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of qualify

1533, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for qualify

Middle French qualifier, from Medieval Latin qualificare, from Latin qualis

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Statistics for qualify

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for qualify

The first known use of qualify was in 1533

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More Definitions for qualify



English Language Learners Definition of qualify

: to give (someone) the necessary skill or knowledge to do a particular job or activity

: to have the necessary skill or knowledge to do a particular job or activity : to have the qualifications to do something

: to pass an exam or complete a course of study that is required in order to do something


qual·​i·​fy | \ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī \
qualified; qualifying

Kids Definition of qualify

1 : to give the training, skill, or ability needed for a special purpose His experience qualifies him for the job.

2 : to have or show the skill or ability needed for a special purpose or event They both qualify for the job.

3 : to narrow down or make less general in meaning I qualify my statement. Adverbs qualify verbs.


qual·​i·​fy | \ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī \
qualified; qualifying

Legal Definition of qualify 

transitive verb

1 : to limit or modify in some way

2 : to make or consider eligible or fit his training and experience qualified him as an expert witness

3 : to issue a certificate or license to

intransitive verb

1 : to meet certain requirements or criteria qualify for a tax credit

2 : to acquire competent power or capacity has just qualified as a lawyer

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More from Merriam-Webster on qualify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with qualify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for qualify

Spanish Central: Translation of qualify

Nglish: Translation of qualify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of qualify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on qualify

What made you want to look up qualify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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