Meaning of “quite” in the English Dictionary

"quite" in British English

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quiteadverb

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.

More examples

  • You've made your position quite clear .
  • There's quite a collection of toothbrushes in the bathroom.
  • If you compare house prices in the two areas, it's quite amazing how different they are.
  • I'm not quite sure how to get there - I'd better consult a map.
  • She always coveted power but never quite achieved it.

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.

More examples

  • She seemed quite chirpy this morning.
  • Three hours is quite a chunk out of my working day.
  • The journey was quite quick because the road was clear .
  • Shall we call in on Miranda? You know she lives quite close-by.
  • She was quite affable at the meeting.

(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)

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)