qual·​i·​ty | \ ˈkwä-lə-tē How to pronounce quality (audio) \
plural qualities

Essential Meaning of quality

1 : how good or bad something is Pollution affects air/water quality. The restaurant serves food of high quality. [=the food at the restaurant is very good] The dress material is of poor quality. [=the dress material is not good]
2 : a characteristic or feature that someone or something has : something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing Honesty is a desirable quality. Stubbornness is one of his bad qualities. See More ExamplesShe has strong leadership qualities. The house has many fine qualities. His music has a primitive quality.Hide
3 : a high level of value or excellence wine of quality [=very good wine] They offer quality at a reasonable price.

Full Definition of quality

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : peculiar and essential character : nature her ethereal quality— Gay Talese
b : an inherent feature : property had a quality of stridence, dissonance— Roald Dahl
c : capacity, role in the quality of reader and companion— Joseph Conrad
2a : degree of excellence : grade the quality of competing air serviceCurrent Biography
b : superiority in kind merchandise of quality
3a : social status : rank
4a : a distinguishing attribute : characteristic possesses many fine qualities
b archaic : an acquired skill : accomplishment
5 : the character in a logical proposition of being affirmative or negative
6 : vividness of hue
7a : timbre
b : the identifying character of a vowel sound determined chiefly by the resonance of the vocal chambers in uttering it
8 : the attribute of an elementary sensation that makes it fundamentally unlike any other sensation



Definition of quality (Entry 2 of 2)

: being of high quality

Choose the Right Synonym for quality


quality, property, character, attribute mean an intelligible feature by which a thing may be identified. quality is a general term applicable to any trait or characteristic whether individual or generic. material with a silky quality property implies a characteristic that belongs to a thing's essential nature and may be used to describe a type or species. the property of not conducting heat character applies to a peculiar and distinctive quality of a thing or a class. remarks of an unseemly character attribute implies a quality ascribed to a thing or a being. the attributes of a military hero

Examples of quality in a Sentence

Noun Honesty is a desirable quality. Stubbornness is one of his bad qualities. She has strong leadership qualities. The house has many fine qualities. His music has a primitive quality. They offer quality at a reasonable price. Adjective The restaurant offers quality service. The store sells quality furniture at reasonable prices. It can be difficult to find quality childcare. He had a quality education.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bill also seeks to address longstanding concerns about the quality of care in Indiana's nursing homes and their vulnerability to fraud. Tony Cook, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Jan. 2022 Some hospital administrators are being forced to turn to last-resort measures to ensure quality of care. Kara Dapena, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 The unique quality of his music will stand the test of time. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 21 Jan. 2022 The resulting configurations are robust and hard-edge, yet emulate intriguingly the soft, folded quality of fabric. Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2022 Houston’s offer list isn’t long (10), but the quality of those schools more than makes up for it. Stephen Means, cleveland, 21 Jan. 2022 Here’s a high-quality portfolio that’s beaten the market consistently since the end of 2016. Trefis Team, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 The excerpts, on everything from hurricanes to the oil industry’s efforts to drive out neighbors, exemplify the unusually high quality of the game’s writing. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 20 Jan. 2022 To keep more control over the quality of his food, Katsanevas said, customers must use his website or call in their orders. Theadora Soter, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Board President Kristina Lawson said that Watkins’ concerns have been listened to at length and that the board is committed to protecting consumers and ensuring access to quality medical care. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 In a statement, Douglas Nivens II, the Maryland Legal Aid attorney who co-defended the tenants, said licenses not only protect renters but also ensure safe and quality housing for all, no matter their income, race, ethnicity or gender. Hallie Miller, baltimoresun.com, 3 Dec. 2021 If the housing market continues to fail to provide affordable, safe and quality housing, one solution may be stronger renter protections that help keep rising rents and landlord abuses in check. Sabiha Zainulbhai, CNN, 14 Sep. 2021 There are more tools and technology than ever before to help ensure every home can provide a sustainable, efficient and quality indoor environment. Rasha Hasaneen, Forbes, 5 Nov. 2021 Sigma Beauty’s Essential Kit comprises 12 pro-quality makeup brushes to complete practically any look. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 5 Nov. 2021 The firm exports mid-quality items to international markets and recycles raw materials from items deemed unusable. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 2 Nov. 2021 Ward looks to Bloomist for quality faux boughs and branches for staging houses, such as this Olea europaea, which comes in 20- and 32-inch lengths. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2021 Nonetheless, access to quality financial literacy courses remains uneven in the U.S., and fewer than half of states require them for graduation. Eliza Haverstock, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of quality


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quality


Middle English qualite, from Anglo-French qualité, from Latin qualitat-, qualitas, from qualis of what kind; akin to Latin qui who — more at who

Learn More About quality

Time Traveler for quality

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near quality



quality assurance

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for quality

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quality. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for quality


qual·​i·​ty | \ ˈkwä-lə-tē How to pronounce quality (audio) \
plural qualities

Kids Definition of quality

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : what sets a person or thing apart : characteristic We must advertise Wilbur's noble qualities— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
2 : how good or bad something is The food is of excellent quality.
3 : a high standard : excellence His skill shows in the quality of his work.



Kids Definition of quality (Entry 2 of 2)

: very good : excellent quality work quality chocolate


qual·​i·​ty | \ ˈkwäl-ət-ē How to pronounce quality (audio) \
plural qualities

Medical Definition of quality

: a special or distinguishing attribute: as
a : timbre
b : the attribute of an elementary sensation that makes it fundamentally unlike any other sensation
c : the character of an X-ray beam that determines its penetrating power and is dependent upon its wavelength distribution


plural qualities

Legal Definition of quality

1 : a special, distinctive, or essential character: as
a : a character, position, or role assumed those acts of ownership, which the person called to the succession can only do in quality of heirLouisiana Civil Code
b : the character of an estate as determined by the manner in which it is to be held or enjoyed
2 : degree of excellence made no warranties as to the product's quality

More from Merriam-Webster on quality

Nglish: Translation of quality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quality for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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