Definition of quality in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwälədē/

noun (plural qualities)

1The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something: an improvement in product quality the hospital ranks in the top tier in quality of care
More example sentences
  • As no standard accepted instrument measures sleep quality, we used effect sizes of the change in scores.
  • Since degree results are now a measure of teaching quality, there's an incentive to give better scores.
  • A number of questions about the clinical utility of quality of life measures remain unanswered.
standard, grade, class, caliber, condition, character, nature, form, rank, value, level;
1.1General excellence of standard or level: a masterpiece for connoisseurs of quality [as modifier]: a wide choice of quality beers
More example sentences
  • The design community should push the boundaries and bring the standard of quality to a higher level.
  • Poor general quality and finishing are the usual indicators of fake toys and parents are advised to buy from recognised retailers.
  • Most significant is the fact that Shanghai Automobile Industrial Company gained this level of quality through co-operation.
excellence, superiority, merit, worth, value, virtue, caliber, eminence, distinction, incomparability;
talent, skill, virtuosity, craftsmanship
excellent, superior, valuable, distinctive, incomparable;
informal top-notch
1.2 archaic High social standing: commanding the admiration of people of quality
More example sentences
  • Thus, we find descriptions of the professional nurses as “women of quality, sensible, kindly, home-makers, endowed with sympathy, brains, and tact.”
  • Tague shows how this rhetoric, although often seen as representing the rise of middle class ideology, was in fact adopted and exploited by wealthy, fashionable ‘women of quality’.
  • Women were starting to make their voices heard and one of them, Mary Cowper De Grey, recounts the story of a group of ladies of quality who are determined to make Shakespeare fashionable.
1.3 [treated as plural] archaic People of high social standing: he’s dazed at being called on to speak before quality
More example sentences
  • "But he does want it all the same, very bad - don't you, Jem? - only, you see, he's dazed at being called on to speak before quality."
  • ‘Aren't you ashamed to expose yourself before quality in that way?” said his wife, in an angry tone.
2A distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something: he shows strong leadership qualities the plant’s aphrodisiac qualities
More example sentences
  • Lack of charisma, timidity and humility seem to be the criteria that negate strong leadership qualities.
  • Reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, the plant resembles fennel, and used to be collected for sale at London markets.
  • It's a triangular route, taking in the raised ground at the join of two valleys, and each side has distinctive qualities.
2.1 Phonetics The distinguishing characteristic or characteristics of a speech sound.
Example sentences
  • The writing system doesn't separate the quality of the vowel from its nasalization.
  • Coco has alliterative and assonantal qualities that also make it memorable from an aural standpoint.
  • The categorical versus the gradient quality of nasalization in Sundanese versus English indicated that nasalization is indeed phonological in Sundanese and phonetic in English.
2.2 Music another term for timbre.
2.3 Astrology Any of three properties (cardinal, fixed, or mutable), representing types of movement, that a zodiacal sign can possess.
Example sentences
  • In vedic astrology, Virgo has some qualities of air, because mercury is considered an airy planet for them.
  • Each and every sign of the zodiac is associated with both an element and a quality.
  • Those influenced by a mutable quality in their horoscope also enjoy learning, play fair and are diplomatic and well-liked by others.


Middle English (in the senses 'character, disposition' and 'particular property or feature'): from Old French qualite, from Latin qualitas (translating Greek poiotēs), from qualis 'of what kind, of such a kind'.

  • The early senses of this were ‘character, disposition’, and ‘particular property or feature’. It comes from Latin qualis ‘of what kind, of such a kind’. Qualify (Late Middle English) from the same root, was originally ‘to describe (something) in a particular way’.

Words that rhyme with quality

equality, frivolity, jollity, polity

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: qual·i·ty

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