1 of 3


quit also quitted; quitting

transitive verb

: give up sense 1
quit a job
: give up sense 2
quit smoking
: to depart from or out of
: to leave the company of
: to make full payment of : pay up
quit a debt
: to set free : relieve, release
quit oneself of fear
: conduct, acquit
the youths quit themselves like men

intransitive verb

: to give up employment
: to cease normal, expected, or necessary action
the engine quit
: to admit defeat : give up


2 of 3


: released from obligation, charge, or penalty
especially : free


3 of 3


: the act or an instance of quitting a job

Did you know?

Is it quit or resign?

Should you quit or should you resign from your job? No matter which one you choose, it is likely that both of these actions will have the exact same effect on your future, as they are, in this sense, fairly synonymous. However, each is more likely to be found used in specific settings, so you may wish to choose your word with care. Resign is more formal, and will often be found when a person is describing relinquishing a position or office, especially if it is done in disgrace. While it would not be incorrect to say that a member of an organization's board, a king or queen, or a political leader "quit their position," it is more likely that the word resign would be employed.

Choose the Right Synonym for quit

stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity.

stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness.

stopped at the red light

cease applies to states, conditions, or existence and may add a suggestion of gradualness and a degree of finality.

by nightfall the fighting had ceased

quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing.

the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether

discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice.

we have discontinued the manufacture of that item

desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing.

desisted from further efforts to persuade them

Example Sentences

Verb She quit college after one semester. She decided to quit show business. He quit teaching after five years. Many workers are quitting because of poor pay. She hates her job and she's thinking about quitting. She quit smoking years ago. I wish you would quit bothering her. We're going to quit for the day. It's too hot to keep working. Adjective I am finally quit of that terrible task. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
After eight and a half years at Twitter, Rosen quit in November, less than a month after Musk closed the $44 billion acquisition. Todd Spangler, Variety, 13 Mar. 2023 Donald Trump should quit the presidential race if he's indicted, one of the former Republican president's potential competitors says. Francesca Chambers, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2023 The six-month pilot, which offered full pay to employees working just 80% of their regular hours, reported a 65% drop in sick days and a 57% decrease in the likelihood an employee would quit. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 10 Mar. 2023 Prominent Desert X board members quit in protest, including artist Ed Ruscha, who for decades has had a getaway in nearby Pioneertown. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2023 Moreover, when people quit, the remaining workers must pick up the slack. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 Hopkin: When toted by their moms, these baby animals quit their fidgeting and keep distress calls to a minimum. Karen Hopkin, Scientific American, 8 Mar. 2023 Smith said her sister quit her job at the glass company after 10 years because of migraines that doctors blamed on stress. CBS News, 3 Mar. 2023 Some companies that have quit Russia are hedging their bets. William Boston And Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2023
They’re fed up with being deprived of personal time, which contributes to a high quit rate, leaving crews woefully understaffed. Allison Morrow, CNN, 12 Sep. 2022 The states are broken out in two categories: those with the highest quit rates, and those with the lowest. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 25 May 2022 The MIT Sloan Management Review researched 600 companies that had higher quit rates than their sector benchmark and assessed vast numbers of employee resignations. Lynne Curry | Alaska Workplace, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Apr. 2022 Zagorsky also notes that some sectors, like hospitality, have much higher quit rates than others, which is pushing up the average. Cassie Werber, Quartz, 21 Feb. 2022 The nationwide quit rate extended to 2.9% of the workforce, the highest percentage ever reported by the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Series. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2021 The Frogs didn’t get the job done, but one thing is clear: there’s no quit in Duggan. Dallas News, 3 Dec. 2022 Still, recent data on quit rates, work attitudes, and employee engagement do suggest our collective relationship with work has hit a rocky patch, Kammeyer-Mueller says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 5 Oct. 2022 The flies also represented the tenacity of biting insects, meant to honor a military leader with no quit in her. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 15 July 2022 See More

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

Word History



Middle English quiten, quitten, from Anglo-French quiter, from quite free of, released, from Latin quietus quiet, at rest


Middle English quite, quit, from Anglo-French

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quit was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near quit

Cite this Entry

“Quit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quit. Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: released from duty, responsibility, or penalty : free
quit of debt


2 of 2 verb
quit also quitted; quitting
: to make full payment to or for : repay
quit a debt
: conduct entry 2 sense 4
the children quit themselves well in the woods
: to depart from : leave
quit the scene of the accident
: to bring to an end : abandon
: to give up (as an action or activity) for good
quit bragging
quit a job
: to admit defeat : surrender

More from Merriam-Webster on quit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?