adverb \ ˈkwīt \
|Updated on: 4 Jul 2018

Definition of quite

1 : wholly, completely
  • not quite finished
2 : to an extreme : positively
  • quite sure
often used as an intensifier with a
  • quite a swell guy
  • quite a beauty
3 : to a considerable extent : rather
  • quite near
quite a bit
: a considerable amount
quite a few
: many

Using plenty as an Adverb

Many handbooks advise avoiding the adverb plenty in writing; "use very, quite, or a more precise word," they advise. Actually plenty is often a more precise word than its recommended replacements; very, fully, or quite will not work as well in these typical quotations.
    • it's already plenty hot for us in the kitchen without some dolt opening the oven
    • —C. H. Bridges
    • may not be rising quite as rapidly as other health costs, but it is going up plenty fast
    • Changing Times
It is not used in more formal writing.

Examples of quite in a Sentence

  1. He felt that the world he had loved had quite gone. —Edmund WilsonNew York Times Book Review20 July 1986
  2. The men who made love to the left-wing college girls were either medical students, who had contempt for them and forgot them, or jocks, who bragged falsely of having made conquests of quite other girls. —Renata AdlerPitch Dark1983
  3. In my opinion, my work … ain't quite good enough … —William Faulknerin Faulkner in the University(1959) 1977
  4. Irene Franey, a little older than I, was quite a beauty —John O'Haraletter30 Dec. 1963
  5. “Are you quite finished?” “Not quite.”

  6. I am quite capable of doing it myself, thank you.

  7. They assured me that I was quite mistaken.

  8. We hadn't quite made up our minds.

  9. She's quite right, you know.

  10. I quite forgot your birthday.

  11. No one realized quite what was happening.

  12. Quite why he left is unclear.

  13. That is not quite what I said.

Recent Examples of quite from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of quite

Middle English, from quite, adjective, quit

QUITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of quite for English Language Learners

  • : to a very noticeable degree or extent

  • : completely or entirely

  • : exactly or precisely

QUITE Defined for Kids


adverb \ ˈkwīt \

Definition of quite for Students

1 : beyond question or doubt : completely
  • I was quite alone.
  • Are you quite sure?
2 : to a considerable extent
  • That's quite interesting.
  • We're quite near.

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