Synonym Chooser

How does the noun qualm differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of qualm are compunction, demur, and scruple. While all these words mean "a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do," qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment.

no qualms about plagiarizing

When would compunction be a good substitute for qualm?

While the synonyms compunction and qualm are close in meaning, compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim.

had compunctions about lying

When might demur be a better fit than qualm?

The meanings of demur and qualm largely overlap; however, demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence.

accepted her decision without demur

When is scruple a more appropriate choice than qualm?

The words scruple and qualm are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle.

no scruples against buying stolen goods


Thesaurus Entries Near qualm

Cite this Entry

“Qualm.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/qualm. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

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