synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of quality in English

English Online Dictionary. What means quality‎? What does quality mean?



From Middle English [Term?], from Old French qualité, from Latin quālitātem, accusative of quālitās, from quālis (of what kind), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷo- (who, how). Cicero coined qualitas as a calque to translate the Ancient Greek word ποιότης (poiótēs, quality), coined by Plato from ποῖος (poîos, of what nature, of what kind).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkwɒlɪti/
  • (US, father-bother merger, weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /ˈkwɑləti/, [ˈkʰwɑɫəɾi]
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /ˈkwælɪti/, /ˈkwælɪtɪ/


quality (countable and uncountable, plural qualities)

  1. (uncountable) Level of excellence.
    • 2019, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      He called for China’s cooperation in efforts to improve air quality.
  2. (countable) Something that differentiates a thing or person.
  3. (archaic) Position; status; rank.
  4. (archaic) High social position. (See also the quality.)
  5. (uncountable) The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items.
  6. (thermodynamics) In a two-phase liquid–vapor mixture, the ratio of the mass of vapor present to the total mass of the mixture.
  7. (emergency medicine, countable) The third step in OPQRST where the responder investigates what the NOI/MOI feels like.
  8. (countable, UK, journalism) A newspaper with relatively serious, high-quality content.

Usage notes

  • Adjectives often applied to "quality": high, good, excellent, exceptional, great, outstanding, satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, adequate, poor, low, bad, inferior, dubious, environmental, visual, optical, industrial, total, artistic, educational, physical, musical, chemical, spiritual, intellectual, architectural, mechanical.


  • See also Thesaurus:characteristic


  • human quality
  • industrial quality

Coordinate terms

  • (a property that differentiates): quiddity

Derived terms

Related terms



quality (comparative more quality, superlative most quality)

  1. Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose; of high quality.

Derived terms

  • qualityness

Related terms

  • qualia
  • qualitative



Further reading

  • “quality”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  • “quality”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  • “quality”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.