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[kwit] /kwɪt/
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.
Origin of quit1
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
Related forms
quittable, adjective
unquitted, adjective
Can be confused
quiet, quit, quite.
3. surrender, release. 12. acquitted, discharged.
1, 8. start. 2. enter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for quitting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • quitting these more distinguished associates, he took his way alone towards the ramparts.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I cannot give any reason but caprice for quitting this ship.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The preparations for quitting the jacal were not long, and an hour later, the five persons started.

    The Trapper's Daughter Gustave Aimard
  • Last night I was honored by your praise of my graceful mode of quitting it!

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • The king, quitting for a time his quarrel with Becket, gathered a considerable army, and in 1165 passed into Wales.

British Dictionary definitions for quitting


verb quits, quitting quitted, (mainly US) quit
(transitive) to depart from; leave: he quitted the place hastily
to resign; give up (a job): he quitted his job today
(intransitive) (of a tenant) to give up occupancy of premises and leave them: they received notice to quit
to desist or cease from (something or doing something); break off: quit laughing
(transitive) to pay off (a debt); discharge or settle
(transitive) (archaic) to conduct or acquit (oneself); comport (oneself): he quits himself with great dignity
(usually predicative) foll by of. free (from); released (from): he was quit of all responsibility for their safety
Word Origin
C13: from Old French quitter, from Latin quiētusquiet; see quietus
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 quitting



c.1200, "free, clear" (of debt, etc.), from Old French quite, quitte "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (see quiet (adj.)).


c.1200, "to repay, discharge" (a debt, etc.), from Old French quiter "clear, establish one's innocence;" also transitive, "release, let go, relinquish, abandon" (12c.), from quite (see quit (adj.)).

Meaning "to reward, give reward" is mid-13c., that of "take revenge; to answer, retort" and "to acquit oneself" are late 14c. From c.1300 as "to acquit (of a charge), declare not guilty." Sense of "leave, depart" is attested from c.1400; that of "stop" (doing something) is from 1640s. Meaning "to give up, relinquish" is from mid-15c. Related: Quitted; quitting. Quitting time is from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with quitting


In addition to the idiom beginning with quit also see: call it quits
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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