Word of the Day

Friday, September 24, 2004


\KWOSH\ , verb;
(Law) To abate, annul, overthrow, or make void; as, "to quash an indictment."
To crush; to subdue; to suppress or extinguish summarily and completely; as, "to quash a rebellion."
The Shelby Globe attributed her death to acute heart failure and yellow jaundice and did its best to quash a curious town rumor that had her being poisoned by eating oyster sandwiches.
-- Tim Page, Dawn Powell: A Biography
The German-French entente made NATO intervention to quash the Balkan civil wars possible, and the collapse of the Soviet Union made NATO's intervention deep into the former Soviet sphere of influence permissible.
-- Thomas L. Friedman, "Was Kosovo World War III?", New York Times, July 2, 1999
[The law] . . . also installed newspaper censorship, enabling the government to quash anything "calculated to jeopardise the success of the operations of any of His Majesty's forces or to assist the enemy."
-- Philip Hoare, Oscar Wilde's Last Stand
Quash comes from Medieval French quasser, from Latin quassare, "to shake violently, to shatter," frequentative form of quatere, "to shake." Quash, "to annul," has been sense-influenced by Late Latin cassare, "to annul," from Latin cassus, "empty," whereas quash, "to crush," has been sense-influenced by squash.
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