Etymology
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quota (n.)

"a proportional part or share, the share or portion assigned to each," 1660s, from Medieval Latin quota, from Latin quota (pars) "how large (a part)," from quota, fem. singular of quotus "how many, of what number (in sequence);" see quote (v.). Earliest reference is to contributions of soldiers or supplies levied from a town or district; of immigrants or imports from 1921.

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quotable (adj.)

"capable of or suitable for being quoted or cited," 1804, from quote (v.) + -able. Related: Quotably; quotableness; quotability.

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quotation (n.)

mid-15c., "numbering," later (1530s) "marginal notation," noun of action from quote (v.) or else from Medieval Latin quotationem (nominative quotatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of quotare "to number."

Meaning "an act of quoting or citing" is from 1640s; that of "passage quoted, that which is repeated or cited as the utterance of another speaker or writer" is from 1680s. Meaning "the current price of commodities or stocks, as published," is by 1812. Quotation mark, one of the marks to denote the beginning and end of a quotation, is attested by 1777.

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quote (v.)

late 14c., coten, "to mark or annotate (a book) with chapter numbers or marginal references" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French coter and directly from Medieval Latin quotare "distinguish by numbers, mark off into chapters and verses," from Latin quotus "which in order? what number (in sequence)?," from quot "how many," from PIE *kwo-ti-, from pronominal root *kwo-.

The sense development is via "to give as a reference, to cite as an authority" (1570s) to "to copy out or repeat exact words" (1670s), in writing or printing, "inclose within quotation marks." In Middle English also "to compute, reckon." The modern spelling with qu- is attested from early 15c. The business sense of "to state the price of a commodity" (1866) revives the etymological meaning. Also see unquote. Related: Quoted; quoting.

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quote (n.)

"a quotation," 1885, from quote (v.). Earlier in a now-obsolete sense of "a marginal reference" (c. 1600). Quotes as short for quotation marks is by 1869.

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quoteworthy (adj.)

"suitable for or deserving of quotation," by 1836; see quote (v.) + worthy (adj.).

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quoth (v.)

"to say, say as follows," from Middle English quoth, from Old English cweþ (Mercian), cwæþ (Northumbrian), third person singular past tense of cweoþan, cweoþa "to say, speak; name, call; declare, proclaim" (Middle English quethan), from Proto-Germanic *kwethanan (source also of Old Saxon quethan, Old Norse kveða, Old Frisian quetha, Old High German quedan, Gothic qiþan).

This is often traced to PIE root *gwet- "to say, speak," but Boutkan, on the grounds of formal objection to proposed cognates (Sanskrit gadati "speaks," Old Welsh guetid "say," Latin vetare "not allow"), has it as of "no (certain) IE etymology," and writes, "This is complicated."

Related to bequeath and bequest. Compare also archaic interjection quotha "forsooth, indeed," originally "said he," 1510s in sarcastic use, "originally a parenthetical phrase used in repeating the words of another with more or less contempt or disdain" [Century Dictionary], from Middle English, from Old English cwæðe ge.

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quotidian (adj.)

mid-14c., coitidian, "daily, occurring or returning daily," from Old French cotidiien (Modern French quotidien), from Latin cottidianus, quotidianus "daily," from Latin quotus "how many? which in order or number?" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns) + dies "day" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine").

The qu- spelling in English dates from 16c. Meaning "ordinary, commonplace, trivial" is from mid-15c. Quotidian fever "intermittent fever" is from late 14c. The noun meaning "something that returns or is expected every day" is from c. 1400, originally of fevers.

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quotient (n.)

in mathematics, "the result of the process of division, quantity resulting from the division of one number by another, number of times one quantity is contained in another," mid-15c., quocient, from Latin quotiens "how often? how many times?; as often as," pronominal adverb of time, from quot "how many?" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns). The Latin adverb quotiens was mistaken in Middle English for a present participle of quot in -ens.

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Quran (n.)

sacred book of Islam, 1876, variant spelling (preferred by scholars) of Koran (q.v.), from Arabic qur'an, literally "book, reading, recitation," from qara'a "to read." Related: Quranic.

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