qual·​i·​fy | \ ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce qualify (audio) \
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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Only one division, the Office of Management and Budget, released its recommendation for reclassifying workers, estimating that more than 80% of staff, or roughly 425 positions, would qualify. Katy Stech Ferek, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 Only energy from wood waste like sawdust would qualify as renewable, and thus be eligible for subsidies. Sarah Hurtes, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2022 The league doesn't exactly have a history of acquiescing to MLBPA requests, so voluntary recognizing the union right away would qualify as a surprise. Chelsea Janes, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2022 For the first half of 2023, only chargers with final assembly in the U.S. would qualify. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 5 Sep. 2022 A year later, advocates say hundreds of thousands of Afghan allies and their family members who would likely qualify for protection still struggle to reach safety. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2022 Intuit says that 60% of customers who obtain loans through this product—which is called QuickBook Capital—would not qualify for a loan from a bank. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 26 Aug. 2022 This prediction would still qualify as a monster season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 25 Aug. 2022 Who would qualify for Eastern Kentucky flood relief? Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, 25 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for qualify

Time Traveler

The first known use of qualify was in 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near qualify



qualifying heat

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Statistics for qualify

Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Qualify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualify. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for qualify


qual·​i·​fy | \ ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce qualify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce qualify (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on qualify

Nglish: Translation of qualify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of qualify for Arabic Speakers


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