quid pro quo

noun
\ ˌkwid-ˌprō-ˈkwō \

Definition of quid pro quo

: something given or received for something else also : a deal arranging a quid pro quo

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Quid Pro Quo and the Apothecary

In the early 16th century, a quid pro quo was something obtained from an apothecary. That's because when quid pro quo (New Latin for "something for something") was first used in English, it referred to the process of substituting one medicine for another—whether intentionally (and sometimes fraudulently) or accidentally. The meaning of the phrase was quickly extended, however, and within several decades it was being used for more general equivalent exchanges. These days, it often occurs in legal contexts.

Examples of quid pro quo in a Sentence

in politics nobody does something for nothing: there's always a quid pro quo involved

Recent Examples on the Web

Investigators were looking into a possible quid pro quo involving regulatory decisions and favorable media coverage. Matthew Campbell, Bloomberg.com, "Benjamin Netanyahu Could Be Heading for a Fifth Term. Or to Court," 14 June 2018 In Ankara, officials said the waiver wasn’t part of a quid pro quo. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Turkey’s Erdogan Says He’ll Defy U.S. Sanctions on Iran," 6 Nov. 2018 The guilty plea by the former deputy chief, Michael J. Harrington, amounted to an admission of administrative wrongdoing, a slap on the wrist compared with the quid pro quo corruption charges that federal prosecutors had originally delivered. Al Baker, New York Times, "Accused of Corruption, Former N.Y.P.D. Chief Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge," 1 Mar. 2018 Conversely, in 1992, the U.S. and South Korea skipped the annual Team Spirit military exercise, a quid pro quo for Pyongyang allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its nuclear reactor site. Washington Post, "The Pentagon has now officially canceled military exercises with South Korea. Here’s what comes next.," 21 June 2018 Dealmaking, contracts and quid pro quo mostly operate in unhappy marriages. John Gottman And Christopher Dollard, chicagotribune.com, "Five myths about marriage," 14 June 2018 Most Nicaraguans appeared content or resigned to the quid pro quo—until now. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Nicaragua’s Political Crisis Descends Into ‘Dark Days’," 6 June 2018 Dealmaking, contracts and quid pro quo mostly operate in unhappy marriages. John Gottman, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about marriage," 16 June 2018 In addition to discrediting Mr. Howe, defense lawyers also said there was no evidence of quid pro quo between Mr. Percoco and the other defendants. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Percoco Was Cuomo’s Foot Soldier, Not His Right Hand, Lawyer Says," 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quid pro quo.' 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 quid pro quo

1582, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quid pro quo

New Latin, something for something

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quiddle

quidnunc

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quiebracha

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Statistics for quid pro quo

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for quid pro quo

The first known use of quid pro quo was in 1582

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More Definitions for quid pro quo

quid pro quo

noun

Financial Definition of quid pro quo

What It Is

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that literally means "something for something." The phrase usually indicates an exchange of goods or services of roughly equivalent value.

How It Works

From a legal perspective, quid pro quo indicates that a good or service has been traded for something of equal value. In particular, quid pro quo is used explicitly to indicate that there has been "consideration" in a contract, meaning that there are goods or services being delivered and that acceptable payment is made for these goods or services. Without consideration, or quid pro quo, for example, a contract may be determined to be nonbinding and invalid.

In the political world, for example, quid pro quo sometimes refers to giving support, financial or otherwise, to a political candidate in exchange for the expectation of direct support for an activity of the political benefactor. Quid pro quo may appear as bribery in these cases and such support must always be tested for conflicts of interest.

Why It Matters

Quid pro quo is one of the most common Latin legal terms used. In any transaction, legal, political or otherwise, it is helpful to know the quid pro quo, that is, the balance of the value of the service or good and the financial compensation being offered.

Source: Investing Answers

quid pro quo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quid pro quo

: something that is given to you or done for you in return for something you have given to or done for someone else

quid pro quo

noun
\ ˌkwid-ˌprō-ˈkwō \

Legal Definition of quid pro quo

: something (as consideration) given or received for something else

History and Etymology for quid pro quo

New Latin, something for something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on quid pro quo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quid pro quo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quid pro quo

Britannica English: Translation of quid pro quo for Arabic Speakers

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