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Word of the Day
Monday, March 18, 2013

Definitions for qualm

  1. an uneasy feeling or pang of conscience as to conduct; compunction: He has no qualms about lying.
  2. a sudden feeling of apprehensive uneasiness; misgiving: a sudden qualm about the success of the venture.
  3. a sudden sensation or onset of faintness or illness, especially of nausea.

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Citations for qualm
A soft qualm, regret, flowed down his backbone, increasing. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922
“Uh nuh nuh nuh,” Bosco told her, wagging a finger as if she'd spoken this rogue qualm aloud. Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad, 2010
Origin of qualm
1520-1530
The etymology of qualm is uncertain. It may come from the Old English cwealm, which means "torment," "pain," and "injury," but scholars believe there is not enough evidence to assume a direct connection between these terms.