quid pro quo

noun
\ ˌkwid-ˌprō-ˈkwō How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio) \

Definition of quid pro quo

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

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Frequently Asked Questions About quid pro quo

Is quid pro quo legal?

Quid pro quo means "something given or received for something else." There is nothing inherently illegal in giving or receiving something in exchange for something else, but in legal contexts quid pro quo often refers to something that is in fact illegal, such as if a company gives a government official money in exchange for receiving a contract that rightly should be given to whatever company is best able to meet the requirements for the contract.

Is quid pro quo bribery?

One might say that every bribe is a case of quid pro quo, but not every quid pro quo is a case of bribery. A bribe is something (such as money or a favor) given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of someone, and while quid pro quo may to be used to describe this, it may also refer to something merely traded for something else.

What does quid pro quo have to do with medicine?

In current use, quid pro quo has little to do with medicine, but the Latin phrase it came from (which may be translated as "something for something") originated with apothecaries (people who prepare and sell drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes). In the 16th through the 18th centuries a quid pro quo often referred to the substitution of one medicine for another.

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 To be sure, some research suggests encouraging quid pro quo kindness can be counterproductive because kindness ought to be an end in itself, not a means to an end. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "At Stan the Man’s bookmobile, kids buy books with acts of kindness," 1 Oct. 2020 Falwell, who resigned amid scandal from his position as president of Liberty University, also denied to Reuters any sort of quid pro quo stemming from his endorsement of Trump. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'I speak to them on a regular basis': Cohen denies quid pro quo in Falwell endorsement of Trump," 8 Sep. 2020 That suggestion infuriated Democrats, who likened the demand to the type of quid pro quo proposal that prompted the president’s impeachment. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "House Panel Moves to Hold Pompeo in Contempt of Congress," 28 Aug. 2020 His error is in believing that the charitable tax exemption was the result of some sort of quid pro quo. James Piereson, National Review, "It’s Not Philanthropy’s Job to ‘Save Democracy’," 26 Aug. 2020 Having release as an option suggests a quid pro quo. Josh Shaffer, chicagotribune.com, "Man convicted of killing Michael Jordan’s father to be paroled," 18 Aug. 2020 In another key part of the defense’s case presented on Thursday, Kenton County prosecutor Rob Sanders said there was no quid pro quo with Gentry. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, "Judge Dawn Gentry hearing: 'A fantastic family court judge,' friends testify," 13 Aug. 2020 Most newsrooms fiercely guard against any interference by advertisers with editorial content, any appearance of special treatment in exchange for ad dollars, any whiff of quid pro quo. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Amid crisis, Pac-12 signed agreement to fund news coverage from Los Angeles Times," 30 July 2020 Group members engage in close physical interactions by resting on top of one another and taking turns grooming each other in a quid pro quo manner. Scientific American, "Animals Use Social Distancing to Avoid Disease," 1 July 2020

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

1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quid pro quo

New Latin, something for something

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The first known use of quid pro quo was in 1532

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quid pro quo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quid%20pro%20quo. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for quid pro quo

quid pro quo

noun
How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio)

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 How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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