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[kwiz] /kwɪz/
noun, plural quizzes.
an informal test or examination of a student or class.
a questioning.
a practical joke; a hoax.
Chiefly British. an eccentric, often odd-looking person.
verb (used with object), quizzed, quizzing.
to examine or test (a student or class) informally by questions.
to question closely:
The police quizzed several suspects.
Chiefly British. to make fun of; ridicule; mock; chaff.
1775-85 in sense “odd person”; 1840-50 for def 1; origin uncertain
Related forms
quizzable, adjective
quizzer, noun
unquizzable, adjective
unquizzed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for quiz
  • Each day the quiz asks one trivia question about the war.
  • Take a chemistry quiz in which you have to match chemical elements to the products in which they are found.
  • The challenge and the novelty of making up a quiz for my father were irresistible.
  • The quiz papers were unnumbered and thus appeared to be untraceable, and were thrown away at the end of the study.
  • Here it is, the third and final quiz in our contest.
  • Now read this post carefully, because there will be a quiz at the end.
  • Take our personality quiz and find the outdoor space for you more.
  • Before you see the correct answers below, you can go take the quiz.
  • To find out your attachment style and that of your partner, and to learn how compatible you are, take our attachment quiz.
  • If they run out of money before you complete the quiz you get nothing.
British Dictionary definitions for quiz


noun (pl) quizzes
  1. an entertainment in which the general or specific knowledge of the players is tested by a series of questions, esp as a radio or television programme
  2. (as modifier) a quiz programme
any set of quick questions designed to test knowledge
an investigation by close questioning; interrogation
(obsolete) a practical joke; hoax
(obsolete) a puzzling or eccentric individual
(obsolete) a person who habitually looks quizzically at others, esp through a small monocle
verb (transitive) quizzes, quizzing, quizzed
to investigate by close questioning; interrogate
(US & Canadian, informal) to test or examine the knowledge of (a student or class)
(transitive) (obsolete) to look quizzically at, esp through a small monocle
Derived Forms
quizzer, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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 quiz
1847, quies, perhaps from L. qui es? "who are you?," first question in oral exams in L. in old-time grammar schools. Spelling quiz first recorded 1886, though it was in use as a noun from 1867, perhaps from apparently unrelated slang word quiz meaning "odd person" (1782, source of quizzical). The anecdote that credits this word to a bet by the Dublin theater-manager Daly that he could coin a word is regarded by authorities as "doubtful" and the first record of it appears to be in 1836 (in Smart's "Walker Remodelled"; the story is omitted in the edition of 1840).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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