Definition of “quite” - 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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Projects are earmarked with aid phases identifying those operations which can possibly be handed over to development donors, and this whole effort has been quite successful.
I find this quite simply scandalous.
There is something not quite right here.
The other approach was quite different.
I just gave the warning that we have seen quite a lot of input to this debate which calls for great scepticism.
I will remind the honourable gentleman and the honourable ladies that this is a special case, and a quite unjustified one at that.
Later on, particularly in the nineteenth century, some countries developed beds of oysters, which were considered - quite rightly - to be a species of food for the refined palate.
All morning, it has been quite impossible to do any work in the offices on the side of the building facing the sun.
Today, we are, however, saying quite clearly that we are holding meetings but that the results are rather far from being achieved.
We have been hammering away quite hard at both points over the last few years - too hard for some people's liking.

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