noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1530 1. a sudden attack of illness, faintness, or nausea 2. a sudden access of usually disturbing emotion (as doubt or fear) 3. a feeling of uneasiness about a point especially of conscience or propriety • qualmy adjective Synonyms: qualm, scruple, compunction, demur mean a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do. qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment <
no qualms about plagiarizing
. scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle <
no scruples against buying stolen goods
. compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim <
had compunctions about lying
. demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence <
accepted her decision without demur

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

, , , / (of the stomach), / (of conscience), , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Qualm — Qualm, n. [AS. cwealm death, slaughter, pestilence, akin to OS. & OHG. qualm. See {Quail} to cower.] 1. Sickness; disease; pestilence; death. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] thousand slain and not of qualm ystorve [dead]. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • qualm — qualm; qualm·ish; qualm·ish·ly; qualm·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • qualm — qualm, scruple, compunction, demur can all denote a feeling of doubt or hesitation as to the rightness or wisdom of something one is doing or is about to do. Qualm implies an uneasy, often a sickening, sensation that one is not following the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Qualm — Sm std. (16. Jh., twalm 8. Jh.) Stammwort. Übernommen aus dem Niederdeutschen. Die nächstliegende Erklärung ist ein Anschluß an quellen, also das Hervorquellende ; es ist aber zu beachten, daß Wörter dieser Bedeutung in den indogermanischen… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • qualm — [kwäm] n. [ME qualme < OE cwealm, death, disaster (akin to Ger qual, pain, Swed kvalm, nausea) < base of cwellan, to kill (see QUELL): all extant senses show melioration of the orig. meaning] 1. a sudden, brief feeling of sickness,… …   English World dictionary

  • Qualm — 1) dicker Dampf od. Rauch; 2) das bes. in nassen Jahren hervorquellende od. an einem Ort sich sammelnde Wasser; 3) so v.w. Ekel, Betäubung; 4) was Unlust, Verwirrung verursacht …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • qualm — I noun anxiety, apprehension, apprehensiveness, compunction, concern, diffidence, disquiet, distrust, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiety, dubiousness, equivocalness, feeling of uncertainty, foreboding, hesitance, hesitancy, hesitation, incertitude,… …   Law dictionary

  • qualm — [kwa:m US kwa:m, kwa:lm] n [C usually plural] a feeling of slight worry or doubt because you are not sure that what you are doing is right ▪ Despite my qualms, I took the job. ▪ The manager has no qualms about dropping players who do not perform… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • qualm — (n.) O.E. cwealm (W.Saxon) death, disaster, plague, utcualm (Anglian) utter destruction, related to cwellan to kill, cwelan to die (see QUELL (Cf. quell)). Sense softened to feeling of faintness 1520s; meaning uneasiness, doubt is from 1550s;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Qualm — (der) …   Kölsch Dialekt Lexikon

  • Qualm — Qualm: Der in hochd. Texten seit dem 16. Jh. bezeugte Ausdruck für »‹dicker› Rauch« stammt aus dem Niederd. Mnd. qual‹le›m »Dunst, Dampf, Rauch« gehört wahrscheinlich im Sinne von »Hervorquellendes« zu der Wortgruppe von ↑ quellen. – Abl.:… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

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