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[kwol-i-tey-tiv] /ˈkwɒl ɪˌteɪ tɪv/
pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities.
Origin of qualitative
1600-10; < Late Latin quālitātīvus, equivalent to quālitāt- (stem of quālitās) quality + -īvus -ive
Related forms
qualitatively, adverb
nonqualitative, adjective
nonqualitatively, adverb
Can be confused
qualitative, quantitative. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for qualitatively
  • Synthetic pesticides are qualitatively different from natural ones, and it's the differences that often make the danger.
  • qualitatively, the dancers on view are no slouches either.
  • While the motivation behind genetic engineering is age-old, the technology itself represents something qualitatively new.
  • What was understood as normal in the postwar years, however, was qualitatively different from anything that had preceded it.
  • Stealing a syllabus and representing it as your own is certainly qualitatively different from stealing research or scholarship.
  • Learning what questions to ask is indeed qualitatively different than answering questions.
  • Financial markets are qualitatively different from typical markets in goods and services.
  • Financial markets are qualitatively different, and must be kept from extremes of leverage in the euphoria of the upside.
  • Financial markets are qualitatively different, are essentially adversarial, and certainly harm many participants.
  • Big collective things are qualitatively different from little individual things.
British Dictionary definitions for qualitatively


/ˈkwɒlɪtətɪv; -ˌteɪ-/
involving or relating to distinctions based on quality or qualities Compare quantitative
Derived Forms
qualitatively, adverb
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 qualitatively



early 15c., "that produces a (physical) quality," from Medieval Latin qualitativus "relating to quality," from stem of Latin qualitas "a quality, property, nature" (see quality). Meaning "concerned with quality" is from c.1600 in English, from French qualitatif or Medieval Latin qualitativus. Related: Qualitatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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