9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kwol-uh-fahy] /ˈkwɒl əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), qualified, qualifying.
to provide with proper or necessary skills, knowledge, credentials, etc.; make competent:
to qualify oneself for a job.
to modify or limit in some way; make less strong or positive:
to qualify an endorsement.
Grammar. to modify.
to make less violent, severe, or unpleasant; moderate; mitigate.
to attribute some quality or qualities to; characterize, call, or name:
She cannot qualify his attitude as either rational or irrational.
to modify or alter the flavor or strength of:
He qualified his coffee with a few drops of brandy.
Law. to certify as legally competent.
verb (used without object), qualified, qualifying.
to be fitted or competent for something.
to get authority, license, power, etc., as by fulfilling required conditions, taking an oath, etc.
Sports. to demonstrate the required ability in an initial or preliminary contest:
He qualified in the trials.
to fire a rifle or pistol on a target range for a score high enough to achieve a rating of marksman, sharpshooter, or expert.
Military. to pass a practical test in gunnery.
Law. to perform the actions necessary to acquire legal power or capacity:
By filing a bond and taking an oath he qualified as executor.
Origin of qualify
1525-35; < Medieval Latin quālificāre, equivalent to Latin quāl(is) of what sort + -ificāre -ify
Related forms
[kwol-uh-fi-kuh-tawr-ree, -tohr-ee] /ˈkwɒl ə fɪ kəˌtɔr ri, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
qualifyingly, adverb
misqualify, verb, misqualified, misqualifying.
nonqualifying, adjective
overqualify, verb, overqualified, overqualifying.
prequalify, verb, prequalified, prequalifying.
requalify, verb, requalified, requalifying.
superqualify, verb, superqualified, superqualifying.
unqualifying, adjective
unqualifyingly, adverb
unrequalified, adjective
1. fit, suit, adapt, prepare, equip. 2. narrow, restrict. See modify. 4. meliorate, soften, temper, reduce, diminish. 5. designate, label. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for qualify
  • Because the scheme makes it so easy to distinguish products that qualify for the various point levels.
  • The nine group winners and the best second-place team qualify automatically.
  • The only caveat is that any financial aid you would otherwise qualify for will be reduced by the amount of the benefit.
  • Firms that qualify for the index tend to be under the government's cosh.
  • Please ask your academic advisor to verify that this internship would qualify for credit hours.
  • As someone pointed out they don't really qualify as moons.
  • Here are three ideas-one to skewer on each tine of a pitchfork-that might qualify as fiendish food, be it in name or in execution.
  • Foliage is showy enough to qualify this plant for a display spot in the garden.
  • Since these kids never fully lose contact with reality, they don't qualify for any of the existing psychotic disorders.
  • But if you paid other eligible expenses, you may use them to qualify for another benefit for which you are eligible.
British Dictionary definitions for qualify


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
to provide or be provided with the abilities or attributes necessary for a task, office, duty, etc: his degree qualifies him for the job, he qualifies for the job, but would he do it well?
(transitive) to make less strong, harsh, or violent; moderate or restrict
(transitive) to modify or change the strength or flavour of
(transitive) (grammar) another word for modify (sense 3)
(transitive) to attribute a quality to; characterize
(intransitive) to progress to the final stages of a competition, as by winning preliminary contests
Derived Forms
qualifiable, adjective
qualificatory (ˈkwɒlɪfɪkətərɪ; -ˌkeɪ-) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French qualifier, from Medieval Latin quālificāre to characterize, from Latin quālis of what kind + facere to make
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 qualify

mid-15c., "to invest with a quality," from Middle French qualifier (15c.) and directly from Medieval Latin qualificare "attribute a quality to; make of a certain quality," from Latin qualis "of what sort?," correlative pronomial adjective (see quality) + facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "to limit, modify" is from 1530s. Sense of "be fit for a job" first appeared 1580s. Related: Qualified; qualifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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