Quality Qual"i*ty, n.; pl. {Qualities}. [F. qualit['e], L. qualitas, fr. qualis how constituted, as; akin to E. which. See {Which}.] 1. The condition of being of such and such a sort as distinguished from others; nature or character relatively considered, as of goods; character; sort; rank. [1913 Webster]

We lived most joyful, obtaining acquaintance with many of the city not of the meanest quality. --Bacon [1913 Webster]

2. Special or temporary character; profession; occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position. [1913 Webster]

I made that inquiry in quality of an antiquary. --Gray. [1913 Webster]

3. That which makes, or helps to make, anything such as it is; anything belonging to a subject, or predicable of it; distinguishing property, characteristic, or attribute; peculiar power, capacity, or virtue; distinctive trait; as, the tones of a flute differ from those of a violin in quality; the great quality of a statesman. [1913 Webster]

Note: Qualities, in metaphysics, are primary or secondary. Primary are those essential to the existence, and even the conception, of the thing, as of matter or spirit Secondary are those not essential to such a conception. [1913 Webster]

4. An acquired trait; accomplishment; acquisition. [1913 Webster]

He had those qualities of horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good breeding. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

5. Superior birth or station; high rank; elevated character. ``Persons of quality.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

{Quality binding}, a kind of worsted tape used in Scotland for binding carpets, and the like.

{The quality}, those of high rank or station, as distinguished from {the masses}, or common people; the nobility; the gentry. [1913 Webster]

I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers, that the quality may see how pretty they will look in their traveling habits. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Property; attribute; nature; peculiarity; character; sort; rank; disposition; temper. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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