an early form and later variant spelling of choir (q.v.), Middle English, from Old French quer, queor, variants of cuer, and compare Medieval Latin quorus, variant of chorus.
royal palace in Rome, later the Italian presidential palace, 1838, from Mons Quirinalis in Rome (one of the seven hills, site of a former Papal palace), from Quirinus, said to be the divine name of Romulus, but rather one of the original trinity of Roman gods, assimilated to Mars. His feast (Quirinalia) was Feb. 17, the day Romulus was said to have been translated to heaven. Used metonymically for "the Italian civil government" (1917), especially as distinguished from the Vatican.
1560s, "a quibble, an artful evasion," a word of unknown origin, perhaps connected to German quer (see queer (adj.)) via the notion of twisting and slanting; but its earliest appearance in western England dialect seems to argue against this as its source. Perhaps originally a technical term for a twist or flourish in weaving. Sense of "peculiarity" is c. 1600.
"short-handled braided leather riding whip" used in the Western U.S.,, 1845, from Mexican Spanish cuarta "rope," related to Spanish cuerda "rope," from Latin corda (see cord (n.)).
"national traitor," especially during World War II in Nazi-occupied countries, "collaborationist," 1940, from Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), Norwegian fascist politician who headed the puppet government during the German occupation of Norway in World War II; shot for treason after the German defeat. First used in London Times of April 15, 1940, in a Swedish context.
c. 1200, quiten, "to repay, discharge" (a debt, claim, etc.), from Old French quiter "to clear, establish one's innocence;" also transitive, "release, let go; absolve, relinquish, abandon" (12c., Modern French quitter), from quite "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet").
Meaning "to reward, give reward, repay" is from mid-13c., that of "take revenge; to answer, retort" and "to acquit oneself" are late 14c. From c. 1300 as "to acquit (of a charge), declare not guilty."
Sense of "to leave, depart from, go away from" is attested by late 14c.; that of "stop, cease" (doing something) is from 1640s. Meaning "to give up, relinquish" is from mid-15c. Related: Quitted; quitting. Quitting time "time at which work ends for the day" is from 1835.
c. 1200, "excused, exempt, free, clear" (of debt, obligation, penalty, etc.), from Old French quite, quitte "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," and directly from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet").
From mid-13c. as "deprived of." From c. 1300 of real property, "exempt from taxes or other dues or claims."
c. 1300, "completely, altogether, entirely, wholly," adverbial form of Middle English quit, quite (adj.) "free, clear" (see quit (adj.)). Originally "thoroughly;" the weaker sense of "fairly" is attested from mid-19c. For quite a few, etc., see few (adj.). In Middle English the adverb also could be quitely, quitelich, quitli (c. 1300).