Qual"i*ty (?), n.; pl.
Qualities (#). [F. qualité, 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;
We lived most joyful, obtaining acquaintance with many
of the city not of the meanest quality.
2. Special or temporary character; profession;
occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position.
I made that inquiry in quality of an
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.
☞ 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.
4. An acquired trait; accomplishment;
He had those qualities of horsemanship, dancing,
and fencing which accompany a good breeding.
5. Superior birth or station; high rank;
elevated character. "Persons of quality."
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
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.
Syn. -- Property; attribute; nature; peculiarity; character;
sort; rank; disposition; temper.