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[kwahyt] /kwaɪt/
completely, wholly, or entirely:
quite the reverse; not quite finished.
actually, really, or truly:
quite a sudden change.
to a considerable extent or degree:
quite small; quite objectionable.
Origin of quite
1300-50; Middle English, adv. use of quit(e), a variant of quit(te) quit1, the meaning of the two forms not being distinct in Middle English
Can be confused
quiet, quit, quite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for quite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her tone was quite serious, but there was an odd expression in her eye.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She was quite unable to repress a vulgar interest in the menials that served her.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • But even if it is possible, it still is quite out of the question.

    Out of the Depths Robert Ames Bennet
  • It was quite as tangible as his money profits promised to be.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • You did not even condescend to speak English, which made them quite enthusiastic—'

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for quite


to the greatest extent; completely or absolutely: you're quite right, quite the opposite
(not used with a negative) to a noticeable or partial extent; somewhat: she's quite pretty
in actuality; truly: he thought the bag was heavy, but it was quite light, it's quite the thing to do
(not used with a negative) quite a, of an exceptional, considerable, or noticeable kind: quite a girl, quite a long walk
quite something, a remarkable or noteworthy thing or person
sentence substitute
Also quite so. an expression used to indicate agreement or assent
Word Origin
C14: adverbial use of quite (adj) quit
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 quite

early 14c., adverbial form of Middle English quit, quite (adj.) "free, clear" (see quit (adj.)). Originally "thoroughly;" the weaker sense of "fairly" is attested from mid-19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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