a popular name for a member of the Religious Society of Friends.

1590–1600; quake + -er1

Quakerish, Quakerlike, adjective
non-Quaker, noun, adjective
non-Quakerish, adjective
pro-Quaker, adjective
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World English Dictionary
Quaker (ˈkweɪkə)
1.  a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian sect founded by George Fox about 1650, whose central belief is the doctrine of the Inner Light. Quakers reject sacraments, ritual, and formal ministry, hold meetings at which any member may speak, and have promoted many causes for social reform
2.  of, relating to, or designating the Religious Society of Friends or its religious beliefs or practices
[C17: originally a derogatory nickname, alluding either to their alleged ecstatic fits, or to George Fox's injunction to "quake at the word of the Lord"]
fem n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1651, said to have been applied to them in 1650 by Justice Bennett at Derby, from George Fox's admonition to his followers to "tremble at the Word of the Lord;" but the word was used earlier of foreign sects given to fits of shaking during religious fervor, and that is likely the source here. Either
way, it was never an official name of the Religious Society of Friends. Quaker gun (1809, Amer.Eng.) was a log painted black and propped up to look from a distance like a cannon.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Quaker definition

A member of the Religious Society of Friends. The Quakers are a group of Christians who use no scripture and believe in great simplicity in daily life and in worship. Their services consist mainly of silent meditation.

Note: Quakers have traditionally been committed to pacifism.
Note: Pennsylvania was settled by a group of Quakers fleeing religious persecution.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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