Word of the Day

Friday, March 16, 2001


\kwy-EE-tuhs\ , noun;
Final discharge or acquittance, as from debt or obligation.
Removal from activity; rest; death.
Something that serves to suppress or quiet.
I have put a quietus upon that ticking. Depend upon it, the ticking will trouble you no more.
-- Herman Melville, "The Apple-Tree Table",
Consider a small police-blotter report from an 1875 issue of The Grant County Herald in Silver City, N[ew] M[exico]: "We learn that on Friday, Jose Garcia, who lives at the Chino copper mines, caught his wife in flagrante delicto -- we leave the reader to guess the crime -- Jose, then and there, gave her the quietus with an axe."
-- Thomas Kunkel, "The Pen Is Mightier Than the Six-Shooter", New York Times, August 30, 1998
It was after eleven when Fanning put the quietus to his day, retreating to the "Hospitality Suite" where he'd been hanging his hat these past weeks.
-- David Long, The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux
During his final illness, someone asked Schiller how he felt: "calmer and calmer" was the reply. It was a quietus he richly deserved.
-- Roger Kimball, "Schiller's 'Aesthetic Education", New Criterion, March 2001
Quietus is from Medieval Latin quietus (est), "(it is) at rest" (said of an obligation that has been discharged), from Latin quietus, "at rest."
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