the harsh sound of a duck
A family of ducks were slowly paddling about in front of me, making little furrows in the quiet water and giving an occasional placid quack
—Arnim, Elizabeth von
an animal especially a mammal having four limbs specialized for walking
In a moment they were on all fours, hopping about like so many quadrupeds
—Patchin, Frank Gee
to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught
Gareth gave it to him, and quaffed
deeply of the refreshing draught, for he was burning with thirst.
a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
The heavy rain had reduced this low-lying ground to a veritable quagmire
, making progress very difficult even for one as unburdened as he was.
—Putnam Weale, B. L. (Bertram Lenox)
attractively old-fashioned (but not necessarily authentic)
She lives in a quaint
old-fashioned house with casement windows and deep window seats, old oak staircase and panelled rooms.
—Strang, Mrs. Herbert
meeting the proper standards and requirements and training for an office or position or task
All schools need administrators who are highly qualified
, dedicated to the profession and not hired due to political connections.
—Washington Post (Aug 22, 2011)
prove capable or fit; meet requirements
involving distinctions based on qualities
research can help entrepreneurs to understand their customers' or clients' feelings, values, and perceptions of a particular product or service.
—Inc (Oct 25, 2010)
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
Kenneth had no qualms
about asking a neighboring table at the country club to stop cussing with his daughters in earshot.
—Inc (Feb 1, 2012)
a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one
Colleges and universities are in a quandary
: Spending cuts, combined with a freeze on tuition, mean fewer teachers and the closing of certain programs.
—New York Times (Feb 20, 2012)
expressible as a quantity or relating to or susceptible of measurement
Agencies have not traditionally hired for skills like “number crunching, data visualization, quantitative
analysis,” Mr. Neumann said.
—New York Times (Oct 30, 2011)
how much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify
Producing big quantities
in America has become harder, as the authorities have cracked down on bulk purchases of the ingredients.
—Economist (Mar 22, 2012)
(physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory)
isolation to prevent the spread of infectious disease
The exact time when it is safe for a person to come out of quarantine
and resume ordinary life varies in different diseases.
—Cross, American Red
a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate
But what about quarries
from which are taken building stone, salt, kaolin or clay?
—Hoskin, Arthur J.
put down by force or intimidation
More than 500 people are thought to have been killed since mid-March as the security forces try to quash
—BBC (May 7, 2011)
wharf usually built parallel to the shoreline
The harbour accommodation is extensive and excellent, large new docks and quays
having been recently built, and other works being under construction or contemplated.
feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit
suppress or crush completely
Burned cars and tires littered a street as police used tear gas to quell
demonstrators who threw rocks and small explosives, local TV footage showed.
—Reuters (Sep 8, 2011)
put out, as of fires, flames, or lights
No fire was visible anywhere; every bit had been quenched
by the flood which came in after Lutchi propped up the sky.
the act of searching for something
In the never-ending quest
to cut costs and increase money paid out of pocket by customers, airline perks have been disappearing for years.
—Time (Apr 6, 2012)
form a queue, form a line, stand in line
up in orderly lines in Taipei and other cities islandwide after polls opened at 8 a.m.
—Reuters (Jan 14, 2012)
being quiet or still or inactive
Under normal conditions, only a fraction of these blood-forming stem cells are active; the rest are deeply quiescent
—The Guardian (Jan 17, 2011)
a state of peace and quiet
She took the vacant seat with a sort of frozen quietude
, and her limbs seemed to settle themselves rigidly into positions where they remained immovable.
—Ritchie, Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt
the most typical example or representative of a type
This composition, in many ways the most wonderful single piece we have from Chopin, is the quintessence
of his genius.
—Spalding, Walter Raymond
a strange attitude or habit
There are a few annoying quirks
: For example, the PlayBook took a long time when scrolling through long documents or Web pages.
—Seattle Times (Apr 16, 2011)
informal terms; strikingly unconventional
experiences abound: A vintage clothing store in a double-decker bus!
—Time (Apr 19, 2012)
someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force
Naturally enough, the attitude taken up by the Christians earned them fresh attacks from the Quisling
—Snoek, Johan Martinus
shake with fast, tremulous movements
His last words had scarcely rung out when my horse began to quiver
under me and sway backward and forward.
—Weyman, Stanley John
not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic
Granted, Latin American integration is an elusive if not quixotic
goal: the region stretches farther than Africa, and its nations' interests are just as balkanized.
—Time (Dec 4, 2011)
playfully vexing (especially by ridicule)
Not too long ago, wearing Chicago Blackhawks gear would earn you quizzical
looks or jokes about being the last of the team's fans.
—Seattle Times (Jun 1, 2010)
a gathering of the minimal number of members of an organization to conduct business
Without a quorum
of four, the commission was unable to do even basic things such as approving public funding for presidential candidates.
—Slate (Jan 25, 2011)
a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
“Better fifty years of Europe Than a cycle of Cathay,” murmured Dick, yielding once more to his chronic habit of quotation
—Duffield, J. W.
found in the ordinary course of events