1 [kwit]
verb (used with object), quit or quitted, quitting.
to stop, cease, or discontinue: She quit what she was doing to help me paint the house.
to depart from; leave (a place or person): They quit the city for the seashore every summer.
to give up or resign; let go; relinquish: He quit his claim to the throne. She quit her job.
to release one's hold of (something grasped).
to acquit or conduct (oneself).
to free or rid (oneself): to quit oneself of doubts.
to clear (a debt); repay.
verb (used without object), quit or quitted, quitting.
to cease from doing something; stop.
to give up or resign one's job or position: He keeps threatening to quit.
to depart or leave.
to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.
released from obligation, penalty, etc.; free, clear, or rid (usually followed by of ): quit of all further responsibilities.

1175–1225; (adj.) Middle English quit(te) exempt, freed, acquitted of (< Old French quite) < Medieval Latin quittus, by-form of quītus (≫ Middle English quit(e); see quite), for Latin quiētus quiet1; (v.) Middle English quit(t)en to pay, acquit oneself < Old French quit(t)er < Medieval Latin quittāre, quiētāre to release, discharge, Late Latin quiētare to put to rest, quiet1

quittable, adjective
unquitted, adjective

3. surrender, release. 12. acquitted, discharged.

1, 8. start. 2. enter.
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2 [kwit]
any of various small tropical birds.

1845–50; orig. Jamaican English, of uncertain origin

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
quit (kwɪt)
vb , chiefly (US) quits, quitting, quitted, quit
1.  (tr) to depart from; leave: he quitted the place hastily
2.  to resign; give up (a job): he quitted his job today
3.  (intr) (of a tenant) to give up occupancy of premises and leave them: they received notice to quit
4.  to desist or cease from (something or doing something); break off: quit laughing
5.  (tr) to pay off (a debt); discharge or settle
6.  archaic (tr) to conduct or acquit (oneself); comport (oneself): he quits himself with great dignity
adj (foll by of)
7.  free (from); released (from): he was quit of all responsibility for their safety
[C13: from Old French quitter, from Latin quiētusquiet; see quietus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "free, clear," from O.Fr. quite "free, clear," from L. quietus "free" (in M.L. "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (see quiet). The verb is first attested c.1300, "to set free, redeem" (usually of a debt or suspicion); sense of "leave" is attested
from late 14c.; that of "to leave (a place)" is from c.1600; that of "stop" (doing something) is from 1640s. Meaning "to give up" is from mid-15c.; quitting time is from 1835; quitter as an insult is 1881, American English. Quits "even" (with another) is from 1660s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with quit, also see call it quits.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Wake them, and they shall quit the false good and leap to the true, and leave
  governments to clerks and desks.
When a doctor suggested that he abandon "wine, women and song," he
  asked if he had to quit everything at once.
It's amazing how many people have quit smoking in the past generation.
The last two park rangers quit because of ghosts.
Idioms & Phrases
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