Definition of qualify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒlɪfʌɪ/

verb (qualifies, qualifying, qualified)

1 [no object] Be entitled to a particular benefit or privilege by fulfilling a necessary condition: a pensioner who does not qualify for income support
More example sentences
  • Their illegal status meant they could not qualify for state benefits and could be ejected during recessions without the host governments facing accusations of compulsory repatriation.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the pensioner population will eventually qualify for means-tested benefits.
  • But it may also be possible to find ways of offering discounts to other groups, he said - such as those on low wages who earned just too much to qualify for council tax benefit.
be eligible, meet the requirements;
be entitled to, be allowed, be permitted
1.1Become eligible for a competition or its final rounds, by reaching a certain standard or defeating a competitor: England are in danger of failing to qualify
More example sentences
  • The competition is going right down to the wire this year and there are four competitors still able to qualify and the competition on Saturday will be the decider.
  • They were both very difficult games overall, but we are still confident as a team that we will make it through to the final Cup qualifying round.
  • The 16 players in each category will be paired in a round robin system with the top eight qualifying for the final round.
1.2Be or make properly entitled to be classed in a particular way: [no object]: he qualifies as a genuine political refugee
More example sentences
  • With respect to compelled speech, the court found that recruiting qualifies as expression and that the schools disagree vehemently with the content of the military recruiters' speech.
  • What qualifies as ‘real penetrating human drama’?
  • Eventually, it becomes so overwhelming that you feel the need to reveal it to one or two people (yes, despite the fact that this involves sharing the secret, it still qualifies as solitude in my opinion).
2 [no object] Become officially recognized as a practitioner of a particular profession or activity, typically by undertaking a course and passing examinations: the training necessary to qualify as a solicitor I’ve only just qualified
More example sentences
  • In pursuit of this passion, all have put themselves through a rigid training course to qualify as pyrotechnicians.
  • While with the fire service in Mayo she completed a two-week basic fire-fighting course and then a breathing apparatus course to qualify as a fire fighter.
  • I went on the basic course and passed all the qualifications and then attended an advanced course and qualified as a Master Waller.
certified, certificated, chartered, licensed, professional;
trained, fit, equipped, prepared, competent, knowledgeable, accomplished, proficient, skilled, skilful, adept, practised, experienced, expert, seasoned, capable, able
gain qualifications, gain certification, be certified, be licensed, be authorized;
pass, graduate, make the grade, succeed, get through, come through with flying colours, pass muster
2.1 [with object] Officially recognize or establish (someone) as a practitioner of a particular profession or activity: the courses qualify you as an instructor of the sport
More example sentences
  • Licensing Boards ensure that qualified individuals only practice in that profession.
  • The source said they were all signed-up soldiers and as such would be expected to take part in the same activities as other fully qualified soldiers.
  • But from now on, a fair salary is going to be whatever it costs to get qualified people in the profession.
authorize, allow, permit, license, empower, fit, equip, prepare, arm, make ready, train, upskill, educate, coach, teach
2.2 [with object and infinitive] Make (someone) competent or knowledgeable enough to do something: I’m not qualified to write on the subject
More example sentences
  • I'm not sure that my knowledge of economic theories qualifies me to judge his arguments, but it does make for some food for thought.
  • But it still wasn't enough, but he was qualified enough to become a tutor at the National Flight Centre at Celbridge, and it was there that the hours mounted up.
  • I fell short of genius category by a full fifty points, barely enough to qualify me to sharpen their pencils.
3 [with object] Make (a statement or assertion) less absolute; add reservations to: she felt obliged to qualify her first short answer
More example sentences
  • In spite of criticism from the pulpits, he refused to qualify his unequivocal statements.
  • John signed the management representation letter without qualifying the positive assertions about the company's tax filings and liabilities.
  • To Barber's credit, he frequently qualifies the overgeneralized statements he makes in one part of his book when he revisits the issues in other parts.
limited, conditional, restricted, bounded, contingent, circumscribed, reserved, guarded, cautious, hesitant, tentative, equivocal;
modified, adapted, amended, adjusted, moderated, refined, tempered, lessened, reduced
modify, limit, make conditional, restrict, add reservations to, add to, make additions to, add a rider to;
moderate, temper, soften, tone down, modulate, mitigate, reduce, lessen, decrease, diminish, lower, abate
3.1 archaic Make (something) less severe or extreme: his sincere piety, his large heart always qualify his errors
More example sentences
  • Along the way, I must qualify extreme principles in various ways and then challenge my students with examinations and term paper reports about my lectures.
  • They had to mitigate them, they had to qualify them.
3.2 archaic Alter the strength or flavour of (something, especially a liquid): he qualified his mug of water with a plentiful infusion of the liquor
4 [with object] Grammar (Of a word or phrase) attribute a quality to (another word, especially a preceding noun).
Example sentences
  • Secondly, the misconduct is qualified by the word ‘serious’.
  • In my view, the present perfect is forbidden when the verb is qualified by an adverbial referring to a time period, except if the time period includes the present.
  • So the adjectival clause qualifies conduct, not anybody's state of mind.
4.1 (qualify something as) archaic Attribute a specified quality to something; describe something as: the propositions have been qualified as heretical
More example sentences
  • One thing that would qualify my work as ‘innovative’ is my interest in abstraction.
  • ‘Artefacts’ are… histories of prior commensal events and emotional sensory exchanges, and… these very histories… are exchanged at commensal events and… qualify the object as commensal… ’.



Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒlɪfʌɪəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Writing was never the be all and the end all, especially in New Zealand where if you don't want to live in a dirt hut and eat mud you have to make yourself qualifiable in other areas.
  • He formed a committee to explore a foolproof death penalty that would narrowly define the qualifiable crimes and require a standard of ‘no doubt’ in assessing guilt using scientific evidence.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'describe in a particular way'): from French qualifier, from medieval Latin qualificare, from Latin qualis 'of what kind, of such a kind' (see quality).

Words that rhyme with qualify


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: qual|ify

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