Meaning of “quite” in the English Dictionary

"quite" in English

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uk /kwaɪt/ us /kwaɪt/

B1 completely:

The two situations are quite different.
The colours almost match but not quite.
I enjoyed her new book though it's not quite as good as her last one.
UK formal Are you quite sure you want to go?
Quite honestly/frankly, the thought of it terrified me.
not quite

B2 used to express that you are not certain about something:

I don't quite know what to say.
I didn't quite catch what he said.

UK used to show agreement with someone's opinion:

"You'd think he could spare some money - he's not exactly poor." "Quite."
quite a/some sth

used to emphasize the degree or amount of something, or to say that someone or something is impressive, interesting, or unusual:

They have been working on this for quite some time.
That's quite a beard you've grown, young man!
quite the best, worst, etc. mainly UK formal old-fashioned

used for emphasis:

It was quite the worst dinner I have ever had.

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quiteadverb, predeterminer

uk /kwaɪt/ us /kwaɪt/ UK US usually fairly, pretty

A2 a little or a lot but not completely:

I'm quite tired but I can certainly walk a little further.
There was quite a lot of traffic today but yesterday was even busier.
It was quite a difficult job.
He's quite attractive but not what I'd call gorgeous.
It would be quite a nuisance to write to everyone.

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(Definition of “quite” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"quite" in American English

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quiteadverb [ not gradable ]

us /kwɑɪt/

quite adverb [ not gradable ] (VERY)

to a large degree:

School is quite different from what it once was.
quite a

Quite a is used before some nouns to emphasize the large number, amount, or size of the subject referred to:

We’ve had quite a lot of rain this year.
There were quite a few (= a lot) of people waiting in line.
She had quite a bit (= a lot) to say to him when he finally showed up.
I hadn’t seen Rebecca in quite a while (= for a long time).

quite adverb [ not gradable ] (COMPLETELY)


I’m not quite done yet.
I’m not quite sure I understand.

quite adverb [ not gradable ] (REALLY)

really or truly:

Winning this contest was quite an accomplishment.
It was quite a remarkable speech.

(Definition of “quite” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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Quite the contrary, we think we should move towards a much more limited list, and remove the most suspect additives from the list.
Although experts have been in agreement on this for quite some time, the message has only recently got through to the political sphere, after considerable time and effort.
The system is quite in accordance with the creation of an area of freedom and justice, and this is something we support.
In fact, quite the contrary is true.
The present statement is therefore a step in the right direction, albeit only the first of what need to be quite a few such steps.
In short, today we are quite rightly acting as the plaintiff, but we need to be very aware of the fact that, tomorrow, we will be in the dock ourselves.
Our demands are quite clear.
Well, that is quite sad.
However, things are really quite different.
They got along quite well.

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