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).
Entries linking to quite
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."
Old English feawe (plural; contracted to fea) "not many, a small number; seldom, even a little," from Proto-Germanic *fawaz (source also of Old Saxon fa, Old Frisian fe, Old High German fao, Old Norse far, Danish faa), from PIE root *pau- (1) "few, little."
Always plural in Old English, according to OED "on the analogy of the adverbial fela," meaning "many." Phrase few and far between attested from 1660s. Unusual ironic use in quite a few "many" (1854), earlier a good few (1803).
There is likewise another dialectical use of the word few among them [i.e. "the Northern Counties"], seemingly tending to its total overthrow; for they are bold enough to say—"a good few," meaning a good many. [Samuel Pegge, "Anecdotes of the English Language," London, 1803]
It forms all or part of: acquiesce; acquit; awhile; coy; quiesce; quiescent; quiet; quietism; quietude; quietus; quit; quitclaim; quite; quit-rent; quittance; requiescat; requiem; requite; while; whilom.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Avestan shaitish "joy," shaiti- "well-being," shyata- "happy;" Old Persian šiyatish "joy;" Latin quies "rest, repose, quiet;" Old Church Slavonic po-koji "rest;" Old Norse hvild "rest."
you're quite right
quite the opposite
she was quite alone
was quite mistaken
did not quite make it
not quite finished
we've had quite an afternoon
quite a film
her victory was quite something
quite a walk
she's quite a girl
quite the rage
it's quite the thing to do
was quite a sudden change