Definition of qualm
1 : a feeling of uneasiness about a point especially of conscience or propriety had no qualms about asking for their help It was about an enduring secular world where people did unspeakable things, seemingly without qualm and without any grave consequences to themselves. — Jim Holt
2 : a sudden feeling of usually disturbing emotion (such as doubt or fear) I had a qualm of absolute horror, and shuddered; and then the emotion was immediately repressed or suppressed. — Oliver Sacks
3 : a sudden attack of illness, faintness, or nausea The doctor seemed seized with a qualm of faintness. — Robert Louis Stevenson
qualmyplay \ˈkwä-mē also ˈkwȯ- or ˈkwäl-\ adjective
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Examples of qualm in a Sentence
He accepted their offer without a qualm.
she has no qualms about downloading pirated music files from the Internet
Recent Examples of qualm from the Web
The gun lobby had no qualms about issuing a public statement supporting gun rights after the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history by a lone gunman at Pulse nightclub.
But some courts and experts have raised qualms that more parents could mean more parents could mean more conflict.
The Pentagon Papers helped Americans realize that government officials didn’t have qualms lying about policy.
Which is why a black man at the ripe old age of 40 has no qualms about launching a career in country music, a genre primarily populated by young guys . .
The golden-skinned, amber-eyed boy is a commodity to Coleman: a son swapped for a son, and Coleman feels few moral qualms about the impact on Juanita.
Pinterest Katy Perry has no qualms about kissing and telling.
Most of the speakers and crowd behaved calmly during the meeting, but several times, Capdeville had to step into debates in efforts to keep the meeting on track or qualm debates that had reached a boiling point.
History remembers the winners, and all qualms will surely be forgotten should Real beat Juventus in Saturday's final.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'qualm'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Etymologists aren't sure where qualm originated, but they do know it entered English around 1530. Originally, it referred to a sudden sick feeling. Robert Louis Stevenson made use of this older sense in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and the most deadly shuddering. Soon after qualm entered the language, it came to designate not only sudden attacks of illness, but also sudden attacks of emotion or principle. In The Sketch Book, for example, Washington Irving wrote, Immediately after one of these fits of extravagance, he will be taken with violent qualms of economy.... Eventually, qualm took on the specific (and now most common) meaning of doubt or uneasiness, particularly in not following one's conscience or better judgment.
Origin and Etymology of qualm
First Known Use: circa 1530See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of qualm
QUALM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of qualm for English Language Learners
: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about whether you are doing the right thing
QUALM Defined for Kids
Definition of qualm for Students
: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty especially in matters of right and wrong She had no qualms about lying.
Seen and Heard
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