\ ˈkwīt How to pronounce quite (audio) \

Definition of quite

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

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Using Plenty as an Adjective: Usage Guide

Many commentators object to use of sense 2 in writing; it appears to be limited chiefly to spoken English. Sense 1 is literary but is no longer in common use.

Examples of quite in a Sentence

He felt that the world he had loved had quite gone. — Edmund Wilson, New York Times Book Review, 20 July 1986 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 Adler, Pitch Dark, 1983 In my opinion, my work … ain't quite good enough … — William Faulkner, in Faulkner in the University, (1959) 1977 Irene Franey, a little older than I, was quite a beauty — John O'Hara, letter, 30 Dec. 1963 “Are you quite finished?” “Not quite.” I am quite capable of doing it myself, thank you. They assured me that I was quite mistaken. We hadn't quite made up our minds. She's quite right, you know. I quite forgot your birthday. No one realized quite what was happening. Quite why he left is unclear. That is not quite what I said.
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Recent Examples on the Web But there’s still a good chance Tesla’s runway is long enough to outlast the worst stretch of even a quite serious recession, then get back on a growth trajectory. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How will Tesla weather the coronavirus storm? Quite nicely, analysts predict," 24 Mar. 2020 And quite frequently, that late-night work has occurred after putting in a full-time day shift. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland Y offers childcare for ‘essential workers’," 24 Mar. 2020 And the big Rover, which can seat nine people if the rear jump seats are folded down, cruises down the Interstate at 75-80 mph quite happily. Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 Heads North," 24 Mar. 2020 The biggest downside is that its chain can be quite noisy in use. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Garage Door Openers for Secure Parking," 23 Mar. 2020 The situation is quite complex, with the steep retrograde slope and great depth favoring instability, but the narrow fjord, as the authors point out, perhaps favoring slower changes or even restabilization,’’ Alley said. Chris Mooney, BostonGlobe.com, "Scientists just discovered a massive new vulnerability in the Antarctic ice sheet," 23 Mar. 2020 The solution to our privacy problems, suggested Hansson, was actually quite simple. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?," 22 Mar. 2020 The move is, of course, neither voluntary nor quite so temporary given several high-profile incidents of coronavirus outbreaks on vessels world-wide. ... Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Will Landlubbers Venture Back Onto Cruises in Time?," 20 Mar. 2020 As if to prove the point, a vigorous policy of testing seems to have slowed the virus’s spread in South Korea quite dramatically. The Economist, "The coronavirus pandemic Developing and deploying tests for SARS-CoV-2 is crucial," 19 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of quite

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quite

Middle English, from quite, adjective, quit

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Time Traveler for quite

Time Traveler

The first known use of quite was in the 14th century

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Statistics for quite

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quite. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for quite


How to pronounce quite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quite

: to a very noticeable degree or extent
used to make a statement more forceful often used with a, an, or the before a noun
: completely or entirely


\ ˈkwīt How to pronounce quite (audio) \

Kids Definition of quite

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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More from Merriam-Webster on quite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quite

Spanish Central: Translation of quite

Nglish: Translation of quite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quite for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quite

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