\ 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 a quite a swell guyquite a beauty
3 : to a considerable extent : rather quite near
quite a bit
: a considerable amount
quite a few
: many

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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

Because Washington, and the nation, have never seen a Squad quite like this one. Kirsten West Savali, Essence, "Opinion: Ocasio-Cortez Makes It Plain: Pelosi Is Being 'Outright Disrespectful' To 'Newly Elected Women Of Color'," 12 July 2019 Still, in the world of vintage and secondhand fashion, the representation of, and options for, bodies sizes eight and up isn’t quite there yet. Emma Zack, Teen Vogue, "Why I Started a Store for Plus-Size Vintage Clothing," 12 July 2019 This year has seen a number of dark female comedies, quirky horror comedies, existential comedies, comedy revivals and comedies that sometimes don't quite feel like comedies, all of which challenged and reimagined what TV comedies can be and do. Therese Odell, Houston Chronicle, "The best TV shows of 2019 (so far)," 12 July 2019 To be sure, some of the tuition rise does fall on people who can’t (immediately) afford it, which is reflected in the fact that students today borrow quite a bit more than their predecessors did. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Myths of Student-Loan Debt," 11 July 2019 Districts vary quite a bit on their start dates, and some have students in transition grades heading back earlier to settle in for a day or two before their older peers arrive. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "When does school start in Denver? Sooner than you may think.," 11 July 2019 Although the bed may only come in one size, the fabrics and types of beds vary quite a bit. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "La-Z-Boy Makes Pet Beds And Now I'm Jealous of My Dog," 9 July 2019 The house where The Golden Girls was set featured many iconic rooms, but none stood out quite like Blanche’s chic boudoir, and that was the point. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "The Golden Girls Production Designer Slept with Blanche’s Iconic Bedspread to Keep It from Being Stolen," 9 July 2019 There’s good reason to think that’s possible; our wee residents seem to dabble quite a bit in our well-being, influencing metabolic disorders, inflammation, hormone cycling, and our defenses against invading germs. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "New York Times falls for “obesity probiotic” hype," 5 July 2019

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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Statistics for quite

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quite

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

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More Definitions for quite



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on quite

What made you want to look up quite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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