1540s, "restriction, limitation, modification," from French qualification and directly from Medieval Latin qualificationem (nominative qualificatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of qualificare (see qualify). Meaning "an accomplishment, etc. that adapts someone to a particular circumstance or employment" is from 1660s; that of "necessary precondition" is from 1723. Related: Qualifications.
updated on February 25, 2021