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).