\ ˈkwīt How to pronounce quite (audio) \

Essential Meaning of quite

1 : to a very noticeable degree or extent : very
2 used to make a statement more forceful I quite liked/enjoyed the music."We're sorry for the trouble." "That's quite all right."The work has value in itself, quite apart from the good effects it produces.I haven't seen her for quite some time. [=a long period of time]I decided I had heard quite enough.It was quite something [=a major event] for a small-town boy to be interviewed for the national news. often used with a, an, or the before a noun She is quite a beauty. [=she's very beautiful]The news was quite a shock. [=the news was very shocking]My promotion was quite a surprise.We had quite a lot of food at the dinner party.It was quite an eventful week.We were in line for quite a while.She has made quite a career for herself. [=she has had a very successful career]The award is quite an honor. [=is a very impressive honor]
3 : completely or entirely "Are you quite finished?" "Not quite." We quite agree. See More ExamplesI am quite capable of doing it myself, thank you. They assured me that I was quite mistaken. Something wasn't quite right. We hadn't quite made up our minds. She's quite right, you know. I quite forgot your birthday.Hide

Full 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 Despite being ranked in the preseason top-10, the Aggies had been quite bad this year on offense, scoring just 42 total points in three games against Power Five competition (with two losses). Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 11 Oct. 2021 The Orlando Pride threw every player at the Gotham FC goal on Saturday night but couldn’t quite manage a comeback in a 3-2 loss that dropped the team below the playoff cutoff line. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, 10 Oct. 2021 And while Britney’s life seems to be much more on her own terms now, the drama around her conservatorship and finances isn’t quite done. Marie Claire Editors, Marie Claire, 10 Oct. 2021 Lance made several passes from the pocket, looking quite comfortable. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Oct. 2021 Do be aware that rhododendrons were quite heavily stressed this year from the heat event, so moving it this year may add more stress. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2021 At some point — no one’s quite sure when — Teodorin realized what was happening. Casey Michel, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 Between the powdery mildew, vine borers, and quite frankly the deer that now roam our neighborhood on a nightly basis, the little plant didn’t stand a chance. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 8 Oct. 2021 The problem is further compounded by the fact that no one is quite sure when the government will run out of money. New York Times, 26 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near quite

quitclaim deed


quite apart from

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quite. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for quite


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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