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English language - Dictionaries Q...

                         Oxford English Reference

                      British Library Cataloguing Data
         The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
                     1. English language--Dictionaries
                 I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
                       ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
                          ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain

1.0 Q...

   Q(1)      n.  (also q) (pl.  Qs or Q's) the seventeenth letter of the

   Q(2)      abbr.  (also Q.) 1 Queen, Queen's.  2 question.

2.0 Qantas...

   Qantas    n.  the international airline of Australia.  [abbr. of
             Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services]

   QARANC    abbr.  Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.

3.0 QB

   QB        abbr.  Queen's Bench.

4.0 QC

   QC        abbr.  Law Queen's Counsel.

5.0 QED

   QED       abbr.  quod erat demonstrandum.

6.0 Q fever

   Q fever   n.  a mild febrile disease caused by rickettsiae.  [Q = query]

7.0 qibla

   qibla     var. of KIBLAH.

8.0 Qld.

   Qld.      abbr.  Queensland.

9.0 QM...

   QM        abbr.  quartermaster.

   QMG       abbr.  Quartermaster General.

   QMS       abbr.  Quartermaster Sergeant.

10.0 QPM

   QPM       abbr.  (in the UK) Queen's Police Medal.

11.0 qr.

   qr.       abbr.  quarter(s).

12.0 Q-ship...

   Q-ship    n.  an armed and disguised merchant ship used as a decoy or to
             destroy submarines.  [Q = query]

13.0 QSO

   QSO       abbr.  quasi-stellar object, quasar.

14.0 qt....

   qt.       abbr.  quart(s).

   q.t.      n.  colloq.  quiet (esp. on the q.t.).  [abbr.]

15.0 qu....

   qu.       abbr.  1 query.  2 question.

   qua       conj.  in the capacity of; as being (Napoleon qua general).  [L,
             ablat. fem. sing. of qui who (rel. pron.)]

   quack(1)  v. & n.  --n. the harsh sound made by ducks.  --v.intr.  1 utter
             this sound.  2 colloq. talk loudly and foolishly.  [imit.: cf.
             Du.  kwakken, G quacken croak, quack]

   quack(2)  n.  1 a an unqualified practiser of medicine.  b (attrib.) of or
             characteristic of unskilled medical practice ( quack cure).  2 a
             charlatan.  3 sl. any doctor or medical officer.  ЬЬquackery n.
             quackish adj.  [abbr. of quacksalver f. Du. (prob. f. obs.
             quacken prattle + salf SALVE(1))]

   quad(1)   n.  colloq.  a quadrangle.  [abbr.]

   quad(2)   n.  colloq.  = QUADRUPLET 1.  [abbr.]

   quad(3)   n.  Printing a piece of blank metal type used in spacing.
             [abbr. of earlier QUADRAT]

   quad(4)   n. & adj.  --n. quadraphony.  --adj. quadraphonic.  [abbr.]

             n. & adj.  --n. a person from 40 to 49 years old.  --adj. of
             this age.  [LL quadragenarius f. quadrageni distrib. of
             quadraginta forty]

             n.  the first Sunday in Lent.  [LL, fem. of L quadragesimus
             fortieth f. quadraginta forty, Lent having 40 days]

             adj.  1 (of a fast, esp. in Lent) lasting forty days.  2 Lenten.

             n.  1 a four-sided plane figure, esp. a square or rectangle.  2
             a a four-sided court, esp. enclosed by buildings, as in some
             colleges.  b such a court with the buildings round it.
             ЬЬquadrangular adj.  [ME f. OF f. LL quadrangulum square, neut.
             of quadrangulus (as QUADRI-, ANGLE(1))]

   quadrant  n.  1 a quarter of a circle's circumference.  2 a plane figure
             enclosed by two radii of a circle at right angles and the arc
             cut off by them.  3 a quarter of a sphere etc.  4 a a thing,
             esp. a graduated strip of metal, shaped like a quarter-circle.
             b an instrument graduated (esp. through an arc of 90ш) for
             taking angular measurements.  ЬЬquadrantal adj.  [ME f. L
             quadrans -antis quarter f. quattuor four]

             adj.  (also quadrophonic) (of sound reproduction) using four
             transmission channels.  ЬЬquadraphonically adv.  quadraphonics
             n.pl.  quadraphony n.  [QUADRI- + STEREOPHONIC]

   quadrat   n.  Ecol.  a small area marked out for study.  [var. of

   quadrate  adj., n., & v.  --adj.  esp. Anat. & Zool. square or rectangular
             (quadrate bone; quadrate muscle).  --n.  1 a quadrate bone or
             muscle.  2 a rectangular object.  --v.  1 tr. make square.  2
             intr. & tr. (often foll. by with) conform or make conform.  [ME
             f. L quadrare quadrat- make square f. quattuor four]

   quadratic adj. & n.  Math.  --adj.  1 involving the second and no higher
             power of an unknown quantity or variable (quadratic equation).
             2 square.  --n.  1 a quadratic equation.  2 (in pl.) the branch
             of algebra dealing with these.  [F quadratique or mod.L
             quadraticus (as QUADRATE)]

             n.  1 Math. the process of constructing a square with an area
             equal to that of a figure bounded by a curve, e.g. a circle.  2
             Astron.  a each of two points at which the moon is 90ш from the
             sun as viewed from earth.  b the position of a heavenly body in
             relation to another 90ш away.  [F quadrature or L quadratura (as

             adj.  1 lasting four years.  2 recurring every four years.
             ЬЬquadrennially adv.  [as QUADRENNIUM]

             n.  (pl.  quadrenniums or quadrennia) a period of four years.
             [L quadriennium (as QUADRI-, annus year)]

   quadri-   comb. form denoting four.  [L f. quattuor four]

   quadric   adj. & n.  Geom.  --adj. (of a surface) described by an equation
             of the second degree.  --n. a quadric surface.  [L quadra

             n.  Anat.  a four-headed muscle at the front of the thigh.
             [mod.L (as QUADRI-, BICEPS)]

   quadrifid adj.  Bot.  having four divisions or lobes.  [L quadrifidus (as
             QUADRI-, findere fid- cleave)]

             adj. & n.  --adj. having four sides.  --n. a four-sided figure.
             [LL quadrilaterus (as QUADRI-, latus lateris side)]

             n.  1 a square dance containing usu. five figures.  2 the music
             for this.  [F f. Sp.  cuadrilla troop, company f. cuadra square
             or It.  quadriglia f. quadra square]

             n.  a card game for four players with forty cards, fashionable
             in the 18th c.  [F, perh. f. Sp.  cuartillo f. cuarto fourth,
             assim. to QUADRILLE(1)]

             n.  (pl. same or quadrillions) a thousand raised to the fifth
             (or formerly, esp.  Brit., the eighth) power (10(15) and 10(24)
             respectively).  [F (as QUADRI-, MILLION)]

             n. & adj.  Math.  --n. an expression of four algebraic terms.
             --adj. of or being a quadrinomial.  [QUADRI- + Gk nomos part,

             adj.  1 consisting of four parts.  2 shared by or involving four

             n.  Med.  paralysis of all four limbs.  ЬЬquadriplegic adj. & n.
             [mod.L (as QUADRI-, Gk plege blow, strike)]

             adj.  Chem.  having a valency of four.

             n.  hist.  a medieval university course of arithmetic, geometry,
             astronomy, and music.  [L, = the place where four roads meet (as
             QUADRI-, via road)]

   quadroon  n.  the offspring of a White person and a mulatto; a person of
             one quarter Negro blood.  [Sp.  cuarterўn f. cuarto fourth,
             assim. to QUADRI-]

             var. of QUADRAPHONIC.

             adj.  (of primates other than humans) four-handed, i.e. with
             opposable digits on all four limbs.  [mod.L quadrumana neut. pl.
             of quadrumanus (as QUADRI-, L manus hand)]

   quadruped n. & adj.  --n. a four-footed animal, esp. a four-footed mammal.
             --adj. four-footed.  ЬЬquadrupedal adj.  [F quadrupЉde or L
             quadrupes -pedis f. quadru- var. of QUADRI- + L pes ped- foot]

   quadruple adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 fourfold.  2 a having four parts.  b
             involving four participants (quadruple alliance).  3 being four
             times as many or as much.  4 (of time in music) having four
             beats in a bar.  --n. a fourfold number or amount.  --v.tr. &
             intr. multiply by four; increase fourfold.  ЬЬquadruply adv.  [F
             f. L quadruplus (as QUADRI-, -plus as in duplus DUPLE)]

             n.  1 each of four children born at one birth.  2 a set of four
             things working together.  3 Mus. a group of four notes to be
             performed in the time of three.  [QUADRUPLE, after triplet]

             adj. & v.  --adj.  1 fourfold.  2 of which four copies are made.
             --v.tr.  1 multiply by four.  2 make four identical copies of.
             Ьin quadruplicate in four identical copies.  ЬЬquadruplication
             n.  [L quadruplicare f. quadruplex -plicis fourfold: cf.
             QUADRUPED, DUPLEX]

             n.  the state of being fourfold.  [L quadruplex -plicis (see
             QUADRUPLICATE), after duplicity]

   quaestor  n.  either of two ancient Roman magistrates with mainly
             financial responsibilities.  ЬЬquaestorial adj.  quaestorship n.
             [ME f. L f. quaerere quaesit- seek]

   quaff     v.  literary 1 tr. & intr. drink deeply.  2 tr. drain (a cup
             etc.) in long draughts.  ЬЬquaffable adj.  quaffer n.  [16th c.:
             perh. imit.]

   quag      n.  a marshy or boggy place.  ЬЬquaggy adj.  [rel. to dial.
             quag (v.) = shake: prob. imit.]

   quagga    n.  an extinct zebra-like mammal, Equus quagga, formerly native
             to S. Africa, with yellowish-brown stripes on the head, neck,
             and forebody.  [Xhosa-Kaffir iqwara]

   quagmire  n.  1 a soft boggy or marshy area that gives way underfoot.  2 a
             hazardous or awkward situation.  [QUAG + MIRE]

   quahog    n.  (US quahaug) any of various edible clams of the Atlantic
             coast of N. America.  [Narraganset Indian]

   quaich    n.  (also quaigh) Sc.  a kind of drinking-cup, usu. of wood and
             with two handles.  [Gael.  cuach cup, prob. f. L caucus]

   quail(1)  n.  (pl. same or quails) any small migratory bird of the genus
             Coturnix, with a short tail and allied to the partridge.  [ME f.
             OF quaille f. med.L coacula (prob. imit.)]

   quail(2)  v.intr.  flinch; be apprehensive with fear.  [ME, of unkn.

   quaint    adj.  1 piquantly or attractively unfamiliar or old-fashioned.
             2 daintily odd.  ЬЬquaintly adv.  quaintness n.  [earlier senses
             'wise, cunning': ME f. OF cointe f. L cognitus past part. of
             cognoscere ascertain]

   quake     v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 shake, tremble.  2 rock to and fro.  3 (of
             a person) shake or shudder (was quaking with fear).  --n.  1
             colloq. an earthquake.  2 an act of quaking.  Ьquaking-grass any
             grass of the genus Briza, having slender stalks and trembling in
             the wind: also called dodder-grass.  ЬЬquaky adj.  (quakier,
             quakiest).  [OE cwacian]

   Quaker    n.  a member of the Society of Friends, a Christian movement
             devoted to peaceful principles and eschewing formal doctrine,
             sacraments, and ordained ministers.  ЬЬQuakerish adj.  Quakerism
             n.  [QUAKE + -ER(1)]

             n.  1 the act or an instance of qualifying.  2 an accomplishment
             fitting a person for a position or purpose.  3 a a circumstance,
             condition, etc., that modifies or limits (the statement had many
             qualifications).  b a thing that detracts from completeness or
             absoluteness (their relief had one qualification).  4 a
             condition that must be fulfilled before a right can be acquired
             etc.  5 an attribution of a quality (the qualification of our
             policy as opportunist is unfair).  ЬЬqualificatory adj.  [F
             qualification or med.L qualificatio (as QUALIFY)]

   qualify   v.  (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. make competent or fit for a position or
             purpose.  2 tr. make legally entitled.  3 intr. (foll. by for)
             (of a person) satisfy the conditions or requirements (for a
             position, award, competition, etc.).  4 tr. add reservations to;
             modify or make less absolute (a statement or assertion).  5 tr.
             Gram. (of a word, esp. an adjective) attribute a quality to
             another word, esp. a noun.  6 tr. moderate, mitigate; make less
             severe or extreme.  7 tr. alter the strength or flavour of.  8
             tr. (foll. by as) attribute a specified quality to, describe as
             (the idea was qualified as absurd).  9 tr. (as qualifying adj.)
             serving to determine those that qualify (qualifying
             examination).  ЬЬqualifiable adj.  qualifier n.  [F qualifier f.
             med.L qualificare f. L qualis such as]

             adj.  concerned with or depending on quality (led to a
             qualitative change in society).  Ьqualitative analysis Chem.
             detection of the constituents, as elements, functional groups,
             etc., present in a substance (opp.  quantitative analysis).
             ЬЬqualitatively adv.  [LL qualitativus (as QUALITY)]

   quality   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the degree of excellence of a thing (of good
             quality; poor in quality).  2 a general excellence (their work
             has quality).  b (attrib.) of high quality ( a quality product).
             3 a distinctive attribute or faculty; a characteristic trait.  4
             the relative nature or kind or character of a thing (is made in
             three qualities).  5 the distinctive timbre of a voice or sound.
             6 archaic high social standing (people of quality).  7 Logic the
             property of a proposition's being affirmative or negative.
             Ьquality control a system of maintaining standards in
             manufactured products by testing a sample of the output against
             the specification.  [ME f. OF qualit‚ f. L qualitas -tatis f.
             qualis of what kind]

   qualm     n.  1 a misgiving; an uneasy doubt esp. about one's own conduct.
             2 a scruple of conscience.  3 a momentary faint or sick feeling.
             ЬЬqualmish adj.  [16th c.: orig. uncert.]

   quandary  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a state of perplexity.  2 a difficult
             situation; a practical dilemma.  [16th c.: orig. uncert.]

   quango    n. (pl. -os) a semi-public body with financial support from and
             senior appointments made by the government.  [abbr. of quasi (or
             quasi-autonomous) non-government(al) organization]

   quant     n. & v.  --n.  Brit. a punting-pole with a prong at the bottom
             to prevent it sinking into the mud, as used by Norfolk bargemen
             etc.  --v.tr. (also absol.) propel (a boat) with a quant.  [15th
             c.: perh. f. L contus f. Gk kontos boat-pole]

   quanta    pl. of QUANTUM.

   quantal   adj.  1 composed of discrete units; varying in steps, not
             continuously.  2 of or relating to a quantum or quantum theory.
             ЬЬquantally adv.  [L quantus how much]

   quantic   n.  Math.  a rational integral homogeneous function of two or
             more variables.

   quantify  v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 determine the quantity of.  2 measure or
             express as a quantity.  3 Logic define the application of (a
             term or proposition) by the use of all, some, etc., e.g. 'for
             all x if x is A then x is B'.  ЬЬquantifiable adj.
             quantifiability n.  quantification n.  quantifier n.  [med.L
             quantificare (as QUANTAL)]

             adj.  1 a concerned with quantity.  b measured or measurable by
             quantity.  2 of or based on the quantity of syllables.
             Ьquantitative analysis Chem.  measurement of the amounts of the
             constituents of a substance (opp.  QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS).
             ЬЬquantitatively adv.  [med.L quantitativus (as QUANTITY)]

             adj.  = QUANTITATIVE.  ЬЬquantitively adv.

   quantity  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the property of things that is measurable.  2
             the size or extent or weight or amount or number.  3 a specified
             or considerable portion or number or amount (buys in quantity;
             the quantity of heat in a body).  4 (in pl.) large amounts or
             numbers; an abundance (quantities of food; is found in
             quantities on the shore).  5 the length or shortness of vowel
             sounds or syllables.  6 Math.  a a value, component, etc. that
             may be expressed in numbers.  b the figure or symbol
             representing this.  Ьquantity mark a mark put over a vowel etc.
             to indicate its length.  quantity surveyor a person who measures
             and prices building work.  quantity theory the hypothesis that
             prices correspond to changes in the monetary supply.  [ME f. OF
             quantit‚ f. L quantitas -tatis f. quantus how much]

   quantize  v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 form into quanta.  2 apply quantum
             mechanics to.  ЬЬquantization n.

   quantum   n.  (pl.  quanta) 1 Physics a a discrete quantity of energy
             proportional in magnitude to the frequency of radiation it
             represents.  b an analogous discrete amount of any other
             physical quantity.  2 a a required or allowed amount.  b a share
             or portion.  Ьquantum jump (or leap) 1 a sudden large increase
             or advance.  2 Physics an abrupt transition in an atom or
             molecule from one quantum state to another.  quantum mechanics
             (or theory) Physics a system or theory using the assumption that
             energy exists in discrete units.  [L, neut. of quantus how much]

             adj.  Geol.  pointing in every direction.  [LL quaquaversus f.
             quaqua wheresoever + versus towards]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 isolation imposed on persons or animals that
             have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to, and might
             spread, infectious or contagious disease.  2 the period of this
             isolation.  --v.tr. impose such isolation on, put in quarantine.
             [It.  quarantina forty days f. quaranta forty]

   quark(1)  n.  Physics any of several postulated components of elementary
             particles.  [invented word, assoc. with 'Three quarks for Muster
             Mark' in Joyce's Finnegans Wake (1939)]

   quark(2)  n.  a type of low-fat curd cheese.  [G]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 a violent contention or altercation between
             individuals or with others.  2 a rupture of friendly relations.
             3 an occasion of complaint against a person, a person's actions,
             etc.  --v.intr.  (quarrelled, quarrelling; US quarreled,
             quarreling) 1 (often foll. by with) take exception; find fault.
             2 fall out; have a dispute; break off friendly relations.
             ЬЬquarreller n.  [ME f. OF querele f. L querel(l)a complaint f.
             queri complain]

             n.  hist.  a short heavy square-headed arrow or bolt used in a
             crossbow or arbalest.  [ME f. OF quar(r)el ult. f. LL quadrus

             adj.  given to or characterized by quarrelling.  ЬЬquarrelsomely
             adv.  quarrelsomeness n.

   quarrian  n.  (also quarrion) a cockatiel.  [prob. Aboriginal]

   quarry(1) n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 an excavation made by taking stone
             etc. for building etc.  from its bed.  2 a place from which
             stone etc. may be extracted.  3 a source of information,
             knowledge, etc.  --v.  (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. extract (stone) from a
             quarry.  2 tr. extract (facts etc.) laboriously from books etc.
             3 intr. laboriously search documents etc.  [ME f. med.L
             quare(r)ia f. OF quarriere f. L quadrum square]

   quarry(2) n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the object of pursuit by a bird of prey,
             hounds, hunters, etc.  2 an intended victim or prey.  [ME f. AF
             f. OF cuiree, couree (assim. to cuir leather and curer
             disembowel) ult. f. L cor heart: orig. = parts of deer placed on
             hide and given to hounds]

   quarry(3) n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a diamond-shaped pane of glass as used in
             lattice windows.  2 (in full quarry tile) an unglazed
             floor-tile.  [a later form of QUARREL(2) in the same sense]

   quarryman n.  (pl. -men) a worker in a quarry.

   quart     n.  1 a liquid measure equal to a quarter of a gallon; two
             pints.  2 a vessel containing this amount.  3 US a unit of dry
             measure, equivalent to one-thirty-second of a bushel (1.1
             litre).  4 (also quarte) the fourth of eight parrying positions
             in fencing.  Ьa quart into a pint pot 1 a large amount etc.
             fitted into a small space.  2 something difficult or impossible
             to achieve.  [ME f. OF quarte f. L quarta fem. of quartus fourth
             f. quattuor four]

   quartan   adj.  (of a fever etc.) recurring every fourth day.  [ME f. OF
             quartaine f. L (febris fever) quartana f. quartus fourth]

   quarte    var. of QUART 4.

   quarter   n. & v.  --n.  1 each of four equal parts into which a thing is
             or might be divided.  2 a period of three months, usu. for which
             payments become due on the quarter day.  3 a point of time 15
             minutes before or after any hour.  4 a school or US university
             term.  5 a 25 US or Canadian cents.  b a coin of this
             denomination.  6 a part of a town, esp. as occupied by a
             particular class or group (residential quarter).  7 a a point of
             the compass.  b a region at such a point.  8 the direction,
             district, or source of supply etc. (help from any quarter; came
             from all quarters).  9 (in pl.) a lodgings; an abode.  b Mil.
             the living accommodation of troops etc.  10 a one fourth of a
             lunar month.  b the moon's position between the first and second
             (first quarter) or third and fourth (last quarter) of these.  11
             a each of the four parts into which an animal's or bird's
             carcass is divided, each including a leg or wing.  b (in pl.)
             hist. the four parts into which a traitor etc. was cut after
             execution.  c (in pl.) = HINDQUARTERS.  12 mercy offered or
             granted to an enemy in battle etc. on condition of surrender.
             13 a Brit. a grain measure equivalent to 8 bushels.  b
             one-fourth of a hundredweight (28 lb. or US 25 lb.).  14 a each
             of four divisions on a shield.  b a charge occupying this,
             placed in chief.  15 either side of a ship abaft the beam.  16
             (in American and Australian football) each of four equal periods
             into which a match is divided.  --v.tr.  1 divide into quarters.
             2 hist. divide (the body of an executed person) in this way.  3
             a put (troops etc.) into quarters.  b station or lodge in a
             specified place.  4 (foll. by on) impose (a person) on another
             as a lodger.  5 cut (a log) into quarters, and these into planks
             so as to show the grain well.  6 (esp. of a dog) range or
             traverse (the ground) in every direction.  7 Heraldry a place or
             bear (charges or coats of arms) on the four quarters of a
             shield's surface.  b add (another's coat) to one's hereditary
             arms.  c (foll. by with) place in alternate quarters with.  d
             divide (a shield) into four or more parts by vertical and
             horizontal lines.  Ьquarter-binding the type of bookbinding in
             which the spine is bound in one material (usu. leather) and the
             sides in another.  quarter day one of four days on which
             quarterly payments are due, tenancies begin and end, etc.
             quarter-final a match or round preceding the semifinal.
             quarter-hour 1 a period of 15 minutes.  2 = sense 3 of n.
             quarter-light Brit.  a window in the side of a motor vehicle,
             closed carriage, etc.  other than the main door-window.
             quarter-line Rugby Football a space enclosed by a line across
             the ground 22 metres from the goal-line.  quarter note esp.  US
             Mus.  a crotchet.  quarter-plate 1 a photographic plate or film
             8.3 x 10.8 cm.  2 a photograph reproduced from it.  quarter
             sessions hist.  (in the UK) a court of limited criminal and
             civil jurisdiction and of appeal, usu. held quarterly.
             quarter-tone Mus.  half a semitone.  [ME f. AF quarter, OF
             quartier f. L quartarius fourth part (of a measure) f. quartus

             n.  1 a quarterly payment.  2 a quarter's wages, allowance,
             pension, etc.

             n.  a player in American football who directs attacking play.

             n.  1 part of a ship's upper deck near the stern, usu. reserved
             for officers.  2 the officers of a ship or the navy.

             n.  1 (in pl.) the coats of arms marshalled on a shield to
             denote the alliances of a family with the heiresses of others.
             2 the provision of quarters for soldiers.  3 the act or an
             instance of dividing, esp. into four equal parts.  4 timber sawn
             into lengths, used for high-quality floor-boards etc.

   quarterly adj., adv., & n.  --adj.  1 produced or occurring once every
             quarter of a year.  2 (of a shield) quartered.  --adv.  1 once
             every quarter of a year.  2 in the four, or in two diagonally
             opposite, quarters of a shield.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a quarterly
             review or magazine.

             n.  1 a regimental officer in charge of quartering, rations,
             etc.  2 a naval petty officer in charge of steering, signals,
             etc.  ЬQuartermaster General the head of the army department in
             charge of quartering etc.  quartermaster sergeant a sergeant
             assisting an army quartermaster.

   quartern  n.  Brit.  archaic a quarter of a pint.  Ьquartern loaf a
             four-pound loaf.  [ME, = quarter f. AF quartrun, OF quart(e)ron
             f.  QUART fourth or quartier QUARTER]

             n.  hist.  a stout pole 6-8 feet long, formerly used as a

   quartet   n.  (also quartette) 1 Mus.  a a composition for four voices or
             instruments.  b the performers of such a piece.  2 any group of
             four.  [F quartette f. It.  quartetto f. quarto fourth f. L

   quartic   adj. & n.  Math.  --adj. involving the fourth and no higher
             power of an unknown quantity or variable.  --n. a quartic
             equation.  [L quartus fourth]

   quartile  adj. & n.  --adj.  Astrol. relating to the aspect of two
             celestial bodies 90ш apart.  --n.  1 a quartile aspect.  2
             Statistics one of three values of a variable dividing a
             population into four equal groups as regards the value of that
             variable.  [med.L quartilis f. L quartus fourth]

   quarto    n. (pl. -os) Printing 1 the size given by folding a (usu.
             specified) sheet of paper twice.  2 a book consisting of sheets
             folded in this way.  °Abbr.: 4to.  Ьquarto paper paper folded in
             this way and cut into sheets.  [L (in) quarto (in) the fourth
             (of a sheet), ablat. of quartus fourth]

   quartz    n.  a mineral form of silica that crystallizes as hexagonal
             prisms.  Ьquartz clock a clock operated by vibrations of an
             electrically driven quartz crystal.  quartz lamp a quartz tube
             containing mercury vapour and used as a light source.  [G Quarz
             f. WSlav.  kwardy]

   quartzite n.  a metamorphic rock consisting mainly of quartz.

   quasar    n.  Astron.  any of a class of starlike celestial objects having
             a spectrum with a large red-shift.  [quasi-stellar]

   quash     v.tr.  1 annul; reject as not valid, esp. by a legal procedure.
             2 suppress; crush (a rebellion etc.).  [ME f. OF quasser, casser
             annul f. LL cassare f. cassus null, void or f. L cassare
             frequent. of quatere shake]

   quasi     adv.  (introducing an exclamation) that is to say; as it were.
             [L, = as if, almost]

   quasi-    comb. form 1 seemingly; apparently but not really
             (quasi-scientific).  2 being partly or almost
             (quasi-independent).  [L quasi as if, almost]

   quassia   n.  1 an evergreen tree, Quassia amara, native to S. America.  2
             the wood, bark, or root of this tree, yielding a bitter
             medicinal tonic and insecticide.  [G.  Quassi, 18th-c. Surinam
             slave, who discovered its medicinal properties]

             n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a four-hundredth anniversary.  2
             a festival marking this.  --adj. of this anniversary.  [L quater
             four times + CENTENARY]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 having four parts.  2 (Quaternary) Geol. of
             or relating to the most recent period in the Cenozoic era with
             evidence of many species of present-day plants and animals (cf.
             PLEISTOCENE, HOLOCENE).  °Cf. Appendix II.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1
             a set of four things.  2 (Quaternary) Geol. the Quaternary
             period or system.  [ME f. L quaternarius f. quaterni distrib. of
             quattuor four]

             n.  1 a set of four.  2 Math. a complex number of the form w +
             xi + yj + zk, where w, x, y, z are real numbers and i, j, k are
             imaginary units that satisfy certain conditions.  [ME f. LL
             quaternio -onis (as QUATERNARY)]

             n.  any fourteen-line poem; an irregular sonnet.  [F quatorzaine
             f. quatorze fourteen f. L quattuordecim]

   quatorze  n.  a set of four aces, kings, queens, or jacks, in one hand at
             piquet, scoring fourteen.  [F: see QUATORZAIN]

   quatrain  n.  a stanza of four lines, usu. with alternate rhymes.  [F f.
             quatre four f. L quattuor]

             n.  a four-pointed or four-leafed figure, esp. as an ornament in
             architectural tracery, resembling a flower or clover leaf.  [ME
             f. AF f.  quatre four: see FOIL(2)]

             n.  the style of Italian art of the 15th c.  ЬЬquattrocentist n.
             [It., = 400 used with reference to the years 1400-99]

   quaver    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr.  a (esp. of a voice or musical sound)
             vibrate, shake, tremble.  b use trills or shakes in singing.  2
             tr.  a sing (a note or song) with quavering.  b (often foll. by
             out) say in a trembling voice.  --n.  1 Mus. a note having the
             time value of an eighth of a semibreve or half a crotchet and
             represented by a large dot with a hooked stem.  Also called
             eighth note.  2 a trill in singing.  3 a tremble in speech.
             ЬЬquaveringly adv.  [ME f.  quave, perh. f. OE cwafian
             (unrecorded: cf.  cwacian QUAKE)]

   quavery   adj.  (of a voice etc.) tremulous.  ЬЬquaveriness n.

   quay      n.  a solid stationary artificial landing-place lying alongside
             or projecting into water for loading and unloading ships.
             ЬЬquayage n.  [ME key(e), kay f. OF kay f. Gaulish caio f.

   quayside  n.  the land forming or near a quay.

   Que.      abbr.  Quebec.

   quean     n.  archaic an impudent or ill-behaved girl or woman.  [OE cwene
             woman: cf.  QUEEN]

   queasy    adj.  (-ier, -iest) 1 a (of a person) feeling nausea.  b (of a
             person's stomach) easily upset, weak of digestion.  2 (of the
             conscience etc.) overscrupulous, tender.  ЬЬqueasily adv.
             queasiness n.  [ME queysy, coisy perh. f. AF & OF, rel. to OF
             coisir hurt]

   Quechua   n.  (also Quichua) a S. American Indian language widely spoken
             in Peru and neighbouring countries.  ЬЬQuechuan adj.  [Sp. f.

   queen     n. & v.  --n.  1 (as a title usu.  Queen) a female sovereign
             etc., esp. the hereditary ruler of an independent State.  2 (in
             full queen consort) a king's wife.  3 a woman, country, or thing
             pre-eminent or supreme in a specified area or of its kind
             (tennis queen; the queen of roses).  4 the fertile female among
             ants, bees, etc.  5 the most powerful piece in chess.  6 a court
             card with a picture of a queen.  7 sl. a male homosexual, esp.
             an effeminate one.  8 a an honoured female, e.g. the Virgin Mary
             (Queen of Heaven).  b an ancient goddess (Venus, Queen of love).
             9 a belle or mock sovereign on some occasion (beauty queen;
             queen of the May).  10 a person's sweetheart, wife, or mistress.
             11 (the Queen) (in the UK) the national anthem when there is a
             female sovereign.  --v.tr.  1 make (a woman) queen.  2 Chess
             convert (a pawn) into a queen when it reaches the opponent's
             side of the board.  ЬQueen-Anne in the style of English
             architecture, furniture, etc., in or about Queen Anne's time,
             the early 18th c.  Queen Anne's lace cow-parsley.  queen bee 1
             the fertile female in a hive.  2 the chief or controlling woman
             in an organization or social group.  queen-cake a small soft
             cake often with raisins etc.  queen dowager the widow of a king.
             queen it play the queen.  queen mother the dowager who is mother
             of the sovereign.  queen of the meadows meadowsweet.  queen of
             puddings a pudding made with bread, jam, and meringue.
             queen-post one of two upright timbers between the tie-beam and
             principal rafters of a roof-truss.  Queen's bench see BENCH.
             queen's bishop, knight , etc. Chess (of pieces which exist in
             pairs) the piece starting on the queen's side of the board.
             Queen's bounty see BOUNTY.  Queen's colour see COLOUR.  Queen's
             Counsel see COUNSEL.  the Queen's English see ENGLISH.  Queen's
             evidence see EVIDENCE.  Queen's Guide see GUIDE.  Queen's
             highway see HIGHWAY.  queen-size (or -sized) of an extra-large
             size, usu. smaller than king-size.  Queen's Messenger see
             MESSENGER.  queen's pawn Chess the pawn in front of the queen at
             the beginning of a game.  Queen's Proctor see PROCTOR.  Queen's
             Scout see SCOUT(1).  Queen's speech see SPEECH.  queen's-ware
             cream-coloured Wedgwood.  ЬЬqueendom n.  queenhood n.  queenless
             adj.  queenlike adj.  queenship n.  [OE cwen f. Gmc; cf.  QUEAN]

   queenie   n.  sl.  = QUEEN n.  7.

   queenly   adj.  (queenlier, queenliest) 1 fit for or appropriate to a
             queen.  2 majestic; queenlike.  ЬЬqueenliness n.

   Queensberry Rules
             n.pl.  the standard rules, esp. of boxing.  [the 8th Marquis of
             Queensberry, Engl. nobleman d. 1900, who supervised the
             preparation of boxing laws in 1867]

   queer     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 strange; odd; eccentric.  2 shady;
             suspect; of questionable character.  3 a slightly ill; giddy;
             faint.  b Brit.  sl. drunk.  4 derog.  sl. (esp. of a man)
             homosexual.  --n.  derog.  sl. a homosexual.  --v.tr.  sl.
             spoil; put out of order.  Ьin Queer Street sl.  in a difficulty,
             in debt or trouble or disrepute.  queer a person's pitch spoil a
             person's chances, esp. secretly or maliciously.  ЬЬqueerish adj.
             queerly adv.  queerness n.  [perh. f. G quer oblique (as

   quell     v.tr.  1 a crush or put down (a rebellion etc.).  b reduce
             (rebels etc.) to submission.  2 suppress (fear, anger, etc.).
             ЬЬqueller n. (also in comb.).  [OE cwellan kill f. Gmc]

   quench    v.tr.  1 satisfy (thirst) by drinking.  2 extinguish (a fire or
             light etc.).  3 cool, esp. with water (heat, a heated thing).  4
             esp. Metallurgy cool (a hot substance) in cold water, air, oil,
             etc.  5 a stifle or suppress (desire etc.).  b Physics &
             Electronics inhibit or prevent (oscillation, luminescence, etc.)
             by counteractive means.  6 sl. reduce (an opponent) to silence.
             ЬЬquenchable adj.  quencher n.  quenchless adj.  [ME f. OE
             -cwencan causative f.  -cwincan be extinguished]

   quenelle  n.  a seasoned ball or roll of pounded fish or meat.  [F, of
             unkn. orig.]

   querist   n.  literary a person who asks questions; a questioner.  [L
             quaerere ask]

   quern     n.  1 a hand-mill for grinding corn.  2 a small hand-mill for
             pepper etc.  Ьquern-stone a millstone.  [OE cweorn(e) f. Gmc]

   querulous adj.  complaining, peevish.  ЬЬquerulously adj.  querulousness
             n.  [LL querulosus or L querulus f.  queri complain]

   query     n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a question, esp. expressing doubt
             or objection.  2 a question mark, or the word query spoken or
             written to question accuracy or as a mark of interrogation.
             --v.  (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. (often foll. by whether, if, etc. +
             clause) ask or inquire.  2 tr. call (a thing) in question in
             speech or writing.  3 tr. dispute the accuracy of.  4 intr. put
             a question.  [Anglicized form of quaere f. L quaerere ask, after

   quest     n. & v.  --n.  1 a search or the act of seeking.  2 the thing
             sought, esp. the object of a medieval knight's pursuit.  --v.  1
             intr. (often foll. by about) a (often foll. by for) go about in
             search of something.  b (of a dog etc.) search about for game.
             2 tr.  poet. search for, seek out.  Ьin quest of seeking.
             ЬЬquester n.  questingly adv.  [ME f. OF queste, quester ult. f.
             L quaerere quaest- seek]

   question  n. & v.  --n.  1 a sentence worded or expressed so as to seek
             information.  2 a doubt about or objection to a thing's truth,
             credibility, advisability, etc. (allowed it without question).
             b the raising of such doubt etc.  3 a matter to be discussed or
             decided or voted on.  4 a problem requiring an answer or
             solution.  5 (foll. by of) a matter or concern depending on
             conditions (it's a question of money).  --v.tr.  1 ask questions
             of; interrogate.  2 subject (a person) to examination.  3 throw
             doubt upon; raise objections to.  4 seek information from the
             study of (phenomena, facts).  Ьbe a question of time be certain
             to happen sooner or later.  beyond all question undoubtedly.
             come into question be discussed; become of practical importance.
             in question that is being discussed or referred to (the person
             in question).  is not the question is irrelevant.  out of the
             question too impracticable etc. to be worth discussing;
             impossible.  put the question require supporters and opponents
             of a proposal to record their votes, divide a meeting.  question
             mark a punctuation mark (?) indicating a question.
             question-master Brit.  a person who presides over a quiz game
             etc.  question time Parl.  a period during parliamentary
             proceedings when MPs may question ministers.  ЬЬquestioner n.
             questioningly adv.  questionless adj.  [ME f. AF questiun, OF
             question, questionner f. L quaestio -onis f.  quaerere quaest-

             adj.  1 doubtful as regards truth or quality.  2 not clearly in
             accordance with honesty, honour, wisdom, etc.  ЬЬquestionability
             n.  questionableness n.  questionably adv.

             n.  (pl.  -ies) = QUESTIONNAIRE.  [med.L quaestionarium or F (as

             n.  1 a formulated series of questions, esp. for statistical
             study.  2 a document containing these.  [F f.  questionner
             QUESTION + -aire -ARY(1)]

   quetzal   n.  1 any of various brilliantly coloured birds of the family
             Trogonidae, esp. the Central and S. American Pharomachrus
             mocinno, the male of which has long green tail coverts.  2 the
             chief monetary unit of Guatemala.  [Sp. f. Aztec f.  quetzalli
             the bird's tail-feather]

   queue     n. & v.  esp.  Brit.  --n.  1 a line or sequence of persons,
             vehicles, etc., awaiting their turn to be attended to or to
             proceed.  2 a pigtail or plait of hair.  --v.intr.  (queues,
             queued, queuing or queueing) (often foll. by up) (of persons
             etc.) form a queue; take one's place in a queue.  Ьqueue-jump
             Brit.  push forward out of turn in a queue.  [F f. L cauda tail]

   quibble   n. & v.  --n.  1 a petty objection; a trivial point of
             criticism.  2 a play on words; a pun.  3 an evasion; an
             insubstantial argument which relies on an ambiguity etc.
             --v.intr. use quibbles.  ЬЬquibbler n.  quibbling adj.
             quibblingly adv.  [dimin. of obs.  quib prob. f. L quibus dative
             & ablat. pl. of qui who (familiar from use in legal documents)]

   quiche    n.  an open flan or tart with a savoury filling.  [F]

   Quichua   var. of QUECHUA.

   quick     adj., adv., & n.  --adj.  1 taking only a short time (a quick
             worker).  2 arriving after a short time, prompt (quick action;
             quick results).  3 with only a short interval (in quick
             succession).  4 lively, intelligent.  5 acute, alert (has a
             quick ear).  6 (of a temper) easily roused.  7 archaic living,
             alive (the quick and the dead).  --adv.  1 quickly, at a rapid
             rate.  2 (as int.) come, go, etc., quickly.  --n.  1 the soft
             flesh below the nails, or the skin, or a sore.  2 the seat of
             feeling or emotion (cut to the quick).  Ьbe quick act quickly.
             quick-fire 1 (of repartee etc.) rapid.  2 firing shots in quick
             succession.  quick-freeze 1 freeze (food) rapidly so as to
             preserve its natural qualities.  2 this process.  quick march
             Mil.  1 a march in quick time.  2 the command to begin this.
             quick one colloq.  a drink taken quickly.  quick step Mil.  a
             step used in quick time (cf.  QUICKSTEP).  quick time Mil.
             marching at about 120 paces per minute.  quick trick Bridge 1 a
             trick in the first two rounds of a suit.  2 the card that should
             win this.  quick with child archaic at a stage of pregnancy when
             movements of the foetus have been felt.  ЬЬquickly adv.
             quickness n.  [OE cwic(u) alive f. Gmc]

   quicken   v.  1 tr. & intr. make or become quicker; accelerate.  2 tr.
             give life or vigour to; rouse; animate; stimulate.  3 intr.  a
             (of a woman) reach a stage in pregnancy when movements of the
             foetus can be felt.  b (of a foetus) begin to show signs of
             life.  4 tr.  archaic kindle; make (a fire) burn brighter.  5
             intr. come to life.

   quickie   n.  colloq.  1 a thing done or made quickly or hastily.  2 a
             drink taken quickly.

   quicklime n.  = LIME(1) n.  1.

   quicksand n.  1 loose wet sand that sucks in anything placed or falling
             into it.  2 a bed of this.

   quickset  adj. & n.  --adj. (of a hedge) formed of slips of plants, esp.
             hawthorn set in the ground to grow.  --n.  1 such slips.  2 a
             hedge formed in this way.

             n. & v.  --n.  1 mercury.  2 mobility of temperament or mood.
             --v.tr. coat (a mirror-glass) with an amalgam of tin.

   quickstep n. & v.  --n. a fast foxtrot (cf.  quick step).  --v.intr.
             (-stepped, -stepping) dance the quickstep.

             n.  a common hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna.

             adj.  quick to grasp a situation, make repartee, etc.
             ЬЬquick-wittedness n.

   quid(1)   n.  (pl. same) Brit.  sl.  one pound sterling.  Ьnot the full
             quid Austral.  sl.  mentally deficient.  quids in sl.  in a
             position of profit.  [prob. f.  quid the nature of a thing f. L
             quid what, something]

   quid(2)   n.  a lump of tobacco for chewing.  [dial. var. of CUD]

   quiddity  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 Philos. the essence of a person or thing; what
             makes a thing what it is.  2 a quibble; a trivial objection.
             [med.L quidditas f. L quid what]

   quidnunc  n.  archaic a newsmonger, a person given to gossip.  [L quid
             what + nunc now]

   quid pro quo
             n.  1 a thing given as compensation.  2 return made (for a gift,
             favour, etc.).  [L, = something for something]

   quiescent adj.  1 motionless, inert.  2 silent, dormant.  ЬЬquiescence n.
             quiescency n.  quiescently adv.  [L quiescere f.  quies QUIET]

   quiet     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  (quieter, quietest) 1 with little or no
             sound or motion.  2 of gentle or peaceful disposition.  3 (of a
             colour, piece of clothing, etc.) unobtrusive; not showy.  4 not
             overt; private; disguised (quiet resentment).  5 undisturbed;
             uninterrupted; free or far from vigorous action (a quiet time
             for prayer).  6 informal; simple (just a quiet wedding).  7
             enjoyed in quiet (a quiet smoke).  8 tranquil; not anxious or
             remorseful.  --n.  1 silence; stillness.  2 an undisturbed
             state; tranquillity.  3 a state of being free from urgent tasks
             or agitation (it is very quiet at work).  4 a peaceful state of
             affairs (all quiet along the frontier).  --v.  1 tr. sooth, make
             quiet.  2 intr. (often foll. by down) become quiet or calm.  Ьbe
             quiet (esp. in imper.) cease talking etc.  keep quiet 1 refrain
             from making a noise.  2 (often foll. by about) suppress or
             refrain from disclosing information etc.  on the quiet
             unobtrusively; secretly.  ЬЬquietly adv.  quietness n.  [ME f.
             AF quiete f. OF quiet(e), quiet‚ f. L quietus past part. of
             quiescere: see QUIESCENT]

   quieten   v.tr. & intr.  Brit. (often foll. by down) = QUIET v.

   quietism  n.  1 a passive attitude towards life, with devotional
             contemplation and abandonment of the will, as a form of
             religious mysticism.  2 the principle of non-resistance.
             ЬЬquietist n. & adj.  quietistic adj.  [It.  quietismo (as

   quietude  n.  a state of quiet.

   quietus   n.  1 something which quiets or represses.  2 discharge or
             release from life; death, final riddance.  [med.L quietus est he
             is quit (QUIET) used as a form of receipt]

   quiff     n.  Brit.  1 a man's tuft of hair, brushed upward over the
             forehead.  2 a curl plastered down on the forehead.  [20th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   quill     n. & v.  --n.  1 (in full quill-feather) a large feather in a
             wing or tail.  2 the hollow stem of this.  3 (in full quill pen)
             a pen made of a quill.  4 (usu. in pl.) the spines of a
             porcupine.  5 a musical pipe made of a hollow stem.  --v.tr.
             form into cylindrical quill-like folds; goffer.  Ьquill-coverts
             the feathers covering the base of quill-feathers.  ЬЬquilling n.
             [ME prob. f. (M)LG quiele]

   quilt(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a bed-covering made of padding enclosed between
             layers of cloth etc. and kept in place by cross lines of
             stitching.  2 a bedspread of similar design (patchwork quilt).
             --v.tr.  1 cover or line with padded material.  2 make or join
             together (pieces of cloth with padding between) after the manner
             of a quilt.  3 sew up (a coin, letter, etc.) between two layers
             of a garment etc.  4 compile (a literary work) out of extracts
             or borrowed ideas.  ЬЬquilter n.  quilting n.  [ME f. OF coilte,
             cuilte f. L culcita mattress, cushion]

   quilt(2)  v.tr.  Austral.  sl.  thrash; clout.  [perh. f.  QUILT(1)]

   quim      n.  coarse sl.  the female genitals.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   quin      n.  esp.  Brit.  colloq.  a quintuplet.  [abbr.]

             n.  an anti-malarial drug derived from acridine.  [quinine +

   quinary   adj.  1 of the number five.  2 having five parts.  [L quinarius
             f.  quini distrib. of quinque five]

   quinate   adj.  Bot.  (of a leaf) having five leaflets.  [L quini (as

   quince    n.  1 a hard acid pear-shaped fruit used as a preserve or
             flavouring.  2 any shrub or small tree of the genus Cydonia,
             esp.  C. oblonga, bearing this fruit.  [ME, orig. collect. pl.
             of obs.  quoyn, coyn, f. OF cooin f. L cotoneum var. of cydoneum
             (apple) of Cydonia in Crete]

             n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a five-hundredth anniversary.  2
             a festival marking this.  --adj. of this anniversary.
             ЬЬquincentennial adj. & n.  [irreg. f. L quinque five +

   quincunx  n.  1 five objects set so that four are at the corners of a
             square or rectangle and the fifth is at its centre, e.g. the
             five on dice or cards.  2 this arrangement, esp. in planting
             trees.  ЬЬquincuncial adj.  quincuncially adv.  [L, =
             five-twelfths f.  quinque five, uncia twelfth]

   quinella  n.  a form of betting in which the better must select the first
             two place-winners in a race, not necessarily in the correct
             order.  [Amer. Sp.  quiniela]

   quinine   n.  1 an alkaloid found esp. in cinchona bark.  2 a bitter drug
             containing this, used as a tonic and to reduce fever.  [quina
             cinchona bark f. Sp.  quina f. Quecha kina bark]

   quinol    n.  = HYDROQUINONE.

   quinoline n.  Chem.  an oily amine obtained from the distillation of coal
             tar or by synthesis and used in the preparation of drugs etc.

   quinone   n.  Chem.  1 a yellow crystalline derivative of benzene with the
             hydrogen atoms on opposite carbon atoms replaced by two of
             oxygen.  2 any in a class of similar compounds.

             n. & adj.  --n. a person from 50 to 59 years old.  --adj. of or
             relating to this age.  [L quinquagenarius f.  quinquageni
             distrib. of quinquaginta fifty]

             n. (in full Quinquagesima Sunday) the Sunday before the
             beginning of Lent.  [med.L, fem. of L quinquagesimus fiftieth f.
             quinquaginta fifty, after QUADRAGESIMA]

   quinque-  comb. form five.  [L f.  quinque five]

             adj.  1 lasting five years.  2 recurring every five years.
             ЬЬquinquennially adv.  [L quinquennis (as QUINQUENNIUM)]

             n.  (pl.  quinquenniums or quinquennia) a period of five years.
             [L f.  quinque five + annus year]

             n.  an ancient Roman galley with five files of oarsmen on each
             side.  [L quinqueremis (as QUINQUE-, remus oar)]

             adj.  having a valency of five.

   quinsy    n.  an inflammation of the throat, esp. an abscess in the region
             around the tonsils.  ЬЬquinsied adj.  [ME f. OF quinencie f.
             med.L quinancia f. Gk kunagkhe f.  kun- dog + agkho throttle]

   quint     n.  1 a sequence of five cards in the same suit in piquet etc.
             2 US a quintuplet.  Ьquint major a quint headed by an ace.  [F
             quinte f. L quinta fem. of quintus fifth f.  quinque five]

   quintain  n.  hist.  1 a post set up as a mark in tilting, and often
             provided with a sandbag to swing round and strike an
             unsuccessful tilter.  2 the medieval military exercise of
             tilting at such a mark.  [ME f. OF quintaine perh. ult. f. L
             quintana camp market f.  quintus (manipulus) fifth (maniple)]

   quintal   n.  1 a weight of about 100 lb.  2 a hundredweight (112 lb.).  3
             a weight of 100 kg.  [ME f. OF quintal, med.L quintale f. Arab.

   quintan   adj.  (of a fever etc.) recurring every fifth day.  [L quintana
             f.  quintus fifth]

   quinte    n.  the fifth of eight parrying positions in fencing.  [F: see

             n.  1 the most essential part of any substance; a refined
             extract.  2 (usu. foll. by of) the purest and most perfect, or
             most typical, form, manifestation, or embodiment of some quality
             or class.  3 (in Ancient Philosophy) a fifth substance (beside
             the four elements) forming heavenly bodies and pervading all
             things.  ЬЬquintessential adj.  quintessentially adv.  [ME (in
             sense 3) f. F f. med.L quinta essentia fifth ESSENCE]

   quintet   n.  (also quintette) 1 Mus.  a a composition for five voices or
             instruments.  b the performers of such a piece.  2 any group of
             five.  [F quintette f. It.  quintetto f.  quinto fifth f. L

             n.  (pl. same or quintillions) a thousand raised to the sixth
             (or formerly, esp.  Brit., the tenth) power (10(18) and 10(30)
             respectively).  ЬЬquintillionth adj. & n.  [L quintus fifth +

   quintuple adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 fivefold; consisting of five parts.  2
             involving five parties.  3 (of time in music) having five beats
             in a bar.  --n. a fivefold number or amount.  --v.tr. & intr.
             multiply by five; increase fivefold.  ЬЬquintuply adv.  [F
             quintuple f. L quintus fifth, after QUADRUPLE]

             n.  1 each of five children born at one birth.  2 a set of five
             things working together.  3 Mus. a group of five notes to be
             performed in the time of three or four.  [QUINTUPLE, after

             adj. & v.  --adj.  1 fivefold.  2 of which five copies are made.
             --v.tr. & intr.  multiply by five.  Ьin quintuplicate 1 in five
             identical copies.  2 in groups of five.  [F quintuple f. L
             quintus fifth, after QUADRUPLICATE]

   quip      n. & v.  --n.  1 a clever saying; an epigram; a sarcastic remark
             etc.  2 a quibble; an equivocation.  --v.intr.  (quipped,
             quipping) make quips.  ЬЬquipster n.  [abbr. of obs.  quippy
             perh. f. L quippe forsooth]

   quipu     n.  the ancient Peruvians' substitute for writing by variously
             knotting threads of various colours.  [Quechua, = knot]

   quire     n.  1 four sheets of paper etc. folded to form eight leaves, as
             often in medieval manuscripts.  2 any collection of leaves one
             within another in a manuscript or book.  3 25 (also 24) sheets
             of paper.  Ьin quires unbound; in sheets.  [ME f. OF qua(i)er
             ult. f. L quaterni set of four (as QUATERNARY)]

   quirk     n.  1 a peculiarity of behaviour.  2 a trick of fate; a freak.
             3 a flourish in writing.  4 (often attrib.) Archit. a hollow in
             a moulding.  ЬЬquirkish adj.  quirky adj.  (quirkier,
             quirkiest).  quirkily adv.  quirkiness n.  [16th c.: orig.

   quirt     n. & v.  --n. a short-handled riding-whip with a braided leather
             lash.  --v.tr. strike with this.  [Sp.  cuerda CORD]

   quisling  n.  1 a person cooperating with an occupying enemy; a
             collaborator or fifth-columnist.  2 a traitor.  ЬЬquislingite
             adj. & n.  [V.  Quisling, renegade Norwegian Army officer d.

   quit      v. & adj.  --v.tr.  (quitting; past and past part.  quitted or
             quit) 1 (also absol.) give up; let go; abandon (a task etc.).  2
             US cease; stop (quit grumbling).  3 a leave or depart from (a
             place, person, etc.).  b (absol.) (of a tenant) leave occupied
             premises ( esp.  notice to quit).  4 (refl.) acquit; behave (
             quit oneself well).  --predic.adj. (foll. by of) rid (glad to be
             quit of the problem).  Ьquit hold of loose.  [ME f. OF quitte,
             quitter f. med.L quittus f. L quietus QUIET]

   quitch    n. (in full quitch-grass) = COUCH(2).  [OE cwice, perh. rel. to

   quite     adv.  1 completely; entirely; wholly; to the utmost extent; in
             the fullest sense.  2 somewhat; rather; to some extent.  3
             (often foll. by so) said to indicate agreement.  Ьquite another
             (or other) very different (that's quite another matter).  quite
             a few colloq.  a fairly large number of.  quite something a
             remarkable thing.  [ME f. obs.  quite (adj.) = QUIT]

   quits     predic.adj.  on even terms by retaliation or repayment (then
             we'll be quits).  Ьcall it (or cry) quits acknowledge that
             things are now even; agree not to proceed further in a quarrel
             etc.  [perh. colloq. abbr. of med.L quittus: see QUIT]

   quittance n.  archaic or poet.  1 (foll. by from) a release.  2 an
             acknowledgement of payment; a receipt.  [ME f. OF quitance f.
             quiter QUIT]

   quitter   n.  1 a person who gives up easily.  2 a shirker.

   quiver(1) v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. tremble or vibrate with a slight rapid
             motion, esp.: a (usu. foll. by with) as the result of emotion
             (quiver with anger).  b (usu. foll. by in) as the result of air
             currents etc. (quiver in the breeze).  2 tr. (of a bird, esp. a
             skylark) make (its wings) quiver.  --n. a quivering motion or
             sound.  ЬЬquiveringly adv.  quivery adj.  [ME f. obs.  quiver
             nimble: cf.  QUAVER]

   quiver(2) n.  a case for holding arrows.  Ьhave an arrow (or shaft) left
             in one's quiver not be resourceless.  [ME f. OF quivre f. WG
             (cf. OE cocor)]

   quiverful n.  (pl.  -fuls) 1 as much as a quiver can hold.  2 many
             children of one parent (Ps. 127:5).  [QUIVER(2)]

   qui vive  n.  Ьon the qui vive on the alert; watching for something to
             happen.  [F, = lit. '(long) live who?', i.e. on whose side are
             you?, as a sentry's challenge]

   quixotic  adj.  1 extravagantly and romantically chivalrous; regardless of
             material interests in comparison with honour or devotion.  2
             visionary; pursuing lofty but unattainable ideals.
             ЬЬquixotically adv.  quixotism n.  quixotry n.  [Don Quixote,
             hero of Cervantes' romance f. Sp.  quixote thigh armour]

   quiz(1)   n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  quizzes) 1 a test of knowledge, esp.
             between individuals or teams as a form of entertainment.  2 an
             interrogation, examination, or questionnaire.  --v.tr.
             (quizzed, quizzing) examine by questioning.  Ьquiz-master a
             person who presides over a quiz.  [19th-c. dial.: orig. unkn.]

   quiz(2)   v. & n.  archaic --v.tr.  (quizzed, quizzing) 1 look curiously
             at; observe the ways or oddities of; survey through an eyeglass.
             2 make sport of; regard with a mocking air.  --n.  (pl.
             quizzes) 1 a hoax, a thing done to burlesque or expose another's
             oddities.  2 a an odd or eccentric person; a person of
             ridiculous appearance.  b a person given to quizzing.  ЬЬquizzer
             n.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   quizzical adj.  1 expressing or done with mild or amused perplexity.  2
             strange; comical.  ЬЬquizzicality n.  quizzically adv.
             quizzicalness n.

   quod      n.  Brit.  sl.  prison.  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   quod erat demonstrandum
             (esp. at the conclusion of a proof etc.) which was the thing to
             be proved.  °Abbr.: QED.  [L]

   quodlibet n.  1 hist.  a a topic for philosophical or theological
             discussion.  b an exercise on this.  2 a light-hearted medley of
             well-known tunes.  ЬЬquodlibetarian n.  quodlibetical adj.
             quodlibetically adv.  [ME f. L f.  quod what + libet it pleases

   quod vide which see (in cross-references etc.).  °Abbr.: q.v.  [L]

   quoin     n. & v.  --n.  1 an external angle of a building.  2 a stone or
             brick forming an angle; a cornerstone.  3 a wedge used for
             locking type in a forme.  4 a wedge for raising the level of a
             gun, keeping the barrel from rolling, etc.  --v.tr. secure or
             raise with quoins.  ЬЬquoining n.  [var. of COIN]

   quoit     n. & v.  --n.  1 a heavy flattish sharp-edged iron ring thrown
             to encircle an iron peg or to land as near as possible to the
             peg.  2 (in pl.) a game consisting of aiming and throwing these.
             3 a ring of rope, rubber, etc. for use in a similar game.  4 a
             the flat stone of a dolmen.  b the dolmen itself.  --v.tr. fling
             like a quoit.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   quokka    n.  a small Australian short-tailed wallaby, Setonix brachyurus.
             [Aboriginal name]

   quondam   predic.adj.  that once was; sometime; former.  [L (adv.), =

   Quonset   n.  US propr.  a prefabricated metal building with a
             semicylindrical corrugated roof.  [Quonset Point, Rhode Island,
             where it was first made]

   quorate   adj.  Brit.  (of a meeting) attended by a quorum.  [QUORUM]

   quorum    n.  the fixed minimum number of members that must be present to
             make the proceedings of an assembly or society valid.  [L, = of
             whom (we wish that you be two, three, etc.), in the wording of

   quota     n.  1 the share that an individual person or company is bound to
             contribute to or entitled to receive from a total.  2 a quantity
             of goods etc. which under official controls must be
             manufactured, exported, imported, etc.  3 the number of yearly
             immigrants allowed to enter a country, students allowed to enrol
             for a course, etc.  [med.L quota (pars) how great (a part), fem.
             of quotus f.  quot how many]

   quotable  adj.  worth, or suitable for, quoting.  ЬЬquotability n.

   quotation n.  1 the act or an instance of quoting or being quoted.  2 a
             passage or remark quoted.  3 Mus. a short passage or tune taken
             from one piece of music to another.  4 Stock Exch. an amount
             stated as the current price of stocks or commodities.  5 a
             contractor's estimate.  Ьquotation mark each of a set of
             punctuation marks, single (' ') or double (" "), used to mark
             the beginning and end of a quoted passage, a book title, etc.,
             or words regarded as slang or jargon.  [med.L quotatio (as

   quote     v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 cite or appeal to (an author, book, etc.) in
             confirmation of some view.  2 repeat a statement by (another
             person) or copy out a passage from (don't quote me).  3 (often
             absol.) a repeat or copy out (a passage) usu. with an indication
             that it is borrowed.  b (foll. by from) cite (an author, book,
             etc.).  4 (foll. by as) cite (an author etc.) as proof,
             evidence, etc.  5 a enclose (words) in quotation marks.  b (as
             int.) (in dictation, reading aloud, etc.) indicate the presence
             of opening quotation marks (he said, quote, 'I shall stay').  6
             (often foll. by at) state the price of (a commodity, bet, etc.)
             (quoted at 200 to 1).  7 Stock Exch. regularly list the price
             of.  --n.  colloq.  1 a passage quoted.  2 a price quoted.  3
             (usu. in pl.) quotation marks.  [ME, earlier 'mark with
             numbers', f. med.L quotare f.  quot how many, or as QUOTA]

   quoth     v.tr.  (only in 1st and 3rd person) archaic said.  [OE cw‘th
             past of cwethan say f. Gmc]

   quotidian adj. & n.  --adj.  1 daily, of every day.  2 commonplace,
             trivial.  --n. (in full quotidian fever) a fever recurring every
             day.  [ME f. OF cotidien & L cotidianus f.  cotidie daily]

   quotient  n.  a result obtained by dividing one quantity by another.  [ME
             f. L quotiens how many times f.  quot how many, by confusion
             with -ENT]

   Qur'an    var. of KORAN.

16.0 q.v.

   q.v.      abbr.  quod vide.

17.0 qwerty

   qwerty    attrib.adj.  denoting the standard keyboard on English-language
             typewriters, word processors, etc., with q, w, e, r, t, and y as
             the first keys on the top row of letters.

18.0 qy.

   qy.       abbr.  query.


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