Definition of quality in English:


Syllabification: qual·i·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈkwälətē

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 people today enjoy a better quality of life
    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; sort, type, kind, variety
  • 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, craftsmanshipexcellent, superior, valuable, distinctive, incomparable; well-crafted
    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.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

More definitions of quality

Definition of quality in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little