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Quaker

[kwey-ker] /ˈkweɪ kər/
noun
1.
a popular name for a member of the Religious Society of Friends.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; quake + -er1
Related forms
Quakerish, Quakerlike, adjective
non-Quaker, noun, adjective
non-Quakerish, adjective
pro-Quaker, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quakerish

Quaker

/ˈkweɪkə/
noun
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
adjective
2.
of, relating to, or designating the Religious Society of Friends or its religious beliefs or practices
Derived Forms
Quakeress, noun:feminine
Quakerish, adjective
Quakerism, noun
Word Origin
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"
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quakerish

Quaker

n.

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 never was an official name of the Religious Society of Friends. The word in a literal sense is attested from early 15c., an agent noun from quake (v.).

There is not a word in the Scripture, to put David's condition into rime and meeter: sometimes he quaked and trembled, and lay roaring all the day long, that he watered his bed with his tears: and how can you sing these conditions (but dishonour the Lord) and say all your bones quake, your flesh trembled, and that you water your bed with your tears? when you live in pride and haughtiness, and pleasure, and wantonness;" etc. ["A Brief Discovery of a threefold estate of Antichrist Now Extant in the world, etc.," an early Quaker work, London, 1653]
Quaker gun (1809, American English) was a log painted black and propped up to look from a distance like a cannon, so called for the sect's noted pacifism. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been known as the Quaker City since at least 1824. Related: Quakerish; Quakeress ("a female Quaker"); Quakerism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quakerish in Culture

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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