(1)   Of high social status
"People of quality"
"A quality family"
(2)   Of superior grade
"Choice wines"
"Prime beef"
"Prize carnations"
"Quality paper"
"Select peaches"


(3)   An essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
"The quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
(4)   A degree or grade of excellence or worth
"The quality of students has risen"
"An executive of low caliber"
(5)   (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)
"The timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely"
"The muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet"
(6)   A characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something
"Each town has a quality all its own"
"The radical character of our demands"
(7)   High social status
"A man of quality"


From , from , from , accusative of , from , from Proto-Indo-European pronominal base . Cicero coined as a calque to translate the Ancient Greek word , coined by Plato from .


  1. Level of excellence
    This school is well-known for having teachers of high quality.
    Quality of life is usually determined by health, education, and income.
  2. A property or attribute that differentiates a thing or person.
    One of the qualities of pure iron is that it does not rust easily.
    While being impulsive can be great for artists, it is not a desirable quality for engineers.
    Security, stability, and efficiency are good qualities of an operating system.
  3. In a two-phase liquid-vapor mixture, the ratio of the mass of vapor present to the total mass of the mixture.
  4. High social position.
    A peasant is not allowed to fall in love with a lady of quality.
    Membership of this golf club is limited to those of quality and wealth.
  5. The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items.


  1. Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose.
    We only sell quality products.
    That was a quality game by Jim Smith.
    A quality system ensures products meet customer requirements.
    • Harriet (a Cambridge University student), quoted in John Ahier, John Beck, Rob Moore, Graduate Citizens?: Issues of Citizenship and Higher Education, Routledge (2003), ISBN 978-0-415-25722-0, page 114:
      I mean a lot of the money that obviously goes into universities and their libraries and their facilities and their academics and stuff but I mean I haven’t had a very quality degree to be honest. I think the quality of my education has been crap . . .
    • 2004, Vance M. Thompson, MD, in J. Kevin Belville and Ronald J. Smith (editors), LASIK Techniques: Pearls and Pitfalls, SLACK Incorporated, ISBN 978-1-55642-622-3, page 187:
      For one I wanted to have what I considered a very quality tracking device.
    • 2008, Carl Erskine, in Fay Vincent, We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4165-5342-7, page 144:
      A very quality ball club; that was the Braves.