quietus

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noun qui·etus \kwī-ˈē-təs, -ˈā-\

Definition of quietus

  1. 1 :  final settlement (as of a debt)

  2. 2 :  removal from activity; especially :  death

  3. 3 :  something that quiets or represses put the quietus on their celebration

quietus was our Word of the Day on 03/10/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of quietus in a Sentence

  1. was granted a quietus on the remainder of the debt in the old man's will

  2. her unshakable belief in a blissful afterlife allowed her to meet her quietus without the slightest tinge of fear or regret

Did You Know?

In the early 1500s, English speakers adopted the Medieval Latin phrase quietus est (literally "he is quit") as the name for the writ of discharge exempting a baron or knight from payment of a knight's fee to the king. The expression was later shortened to "quietus" and applied to the termination of any debt. William Shakespeare was the first to use "quietus" as a metaphor for the termination of life: "For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, … When he himself might his quietus make / With a bare bodkin?" (Hamlet). The third meaning, which is more influenced by "quiet" than "quit," appeared in the 19th century. It often occurs in the phrase "put the quietus on" (as in, "The bad news put the quietus on their celebration").

Origin and Etymology of quietus

Middle English quietus est, from Medieval Latin, he is quit, formula of discharge from obligation



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