Dictionary: Q – QUAD'RATE

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is the seventeenth letter of the English Alphabet; an articulation borrowed from the oriental koph or qoph, Ch. and Heb. ק, Samaritan ק‎‎, Syriac ܩ, Arabic ق kaf. It is supposed to be an articulation more deeply guttural than that of K; indeed it may have been pronounced as we pronounce qu; for we observe that in the Latin language, from which the moderns have borrowed the letter, it is always followed by u, as it is in English. This letter is not in the Greek alphabet. In our mother tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, this letter is not used; but in the place of qu, cu, or more generally, cw is used; as in cwic, quick; cwen, queen. This letter is superfluous; for ku or koo, in English, have precisely the same sounds as qu. It is alledged that in expressing q, the cheeks are contracted, and the lips put into a canular form, for the passage of the breath; circumstances which distinguish it from k. This appears to be a mistake. This position of the organs is entirely owing to the following letter u; and kuestion and question are pronounced precisely alike, and with the same configuration of the organs. For qu in English, the Dutch use kw, the Germans qu, the Swedes and the Danes qv, which answer to our kw. The Gothic has a character which answers to qu. It appears then that q is precisely k, with this difference in use, that q is always followed by u in English, and k is not. Q never ends an English word. Its name cue, is said to be from the French queue, a tail. As a numeral, Q stands for 500, and with a dash, Q̅, for 500,000. Used as an abbreviation, Q. stands for quantity or quantum; as, among physicians, q. pl. quantum placet, as much as you please; q. s. quantum sufficit, as much as is required, or as is sufficient. Among mathematicians, Q. E. D. stand for quod erat demonstrandum, which was to be demonstrated; Q. E. F. quod erat faciendum, which was to be done. In the notes of the ancients, Q. stands for Quintus or Quintius; Quint. for Quiutilius; and Quæs. for quæstor. In English, Q. is an abbreviation for question.

QUAB, n. [G. quappe; D. kwab; Dan. qvabbe.]

A fish of Russian rivers, which delights in clear water. – Dict. Nat. Hist.


A Brazilian fowl of the moor-hen kind, of a fine black color variegated with white. Its voice resembles the crowing of a cock. – Dict. Nat. Hist.

QUACK, n. [from the verb.]

  1. A boaster; one who pretends to skill or knowledge which he does not possess. – Felton.
  2. A boastful pretender to medical skill which he does not possess; an empiric; an ignorant practitioner. – Addison.

QUACK, v.i. [D. kwaaken, G. quaken, Dan. qvakker, to croak.]

  1. To cry like a duck or goose. – King.
  2. To boast; to bounce; to talk noisily and ostentatiously; as, pretenders to medical skill quack of their cures. – Hudibras.


The boastful pretensions or mean practice of an ignoramus, particularly in medicine; empiricism.


Like a quack; boasting of skill not possessed; trickish. – Burke.


The practice of quackery. – Ash.

QUACK'LE, v.i.

To be almost choked.


Almost choked or suffocated.

QUACK'SALV-ER, n. [Sw. qvacksalfvare; quack and salve.]

One who boasts of his skill in medicines and salves, or of the efficacy of his prescriptions; a charlatan. – Brown. Burton.

QUAD, a. [D. kwaad.]

Evil; bad. [Not used.] – Gower.

QUAD'RA-GENE, n. [L. quadrageni.]

A papal indulgence multiplying remissions by forties. – Taylor.

QUAD-RA-GES'I-MA, n. [L quadragesimus, fortieth, from quatuor, four.]

Lent; so called because it consists of forty days. – Encyc.

QUAD-RA-GES'I-MAL, a. [supra.]

Belonging to Lent; used in Lent. – Sanderson.

QUAD-RA-GES'I-MALS, n. [plur. supra.]

Offerings formerly made to the mother church on mid-lent Sunday.

QUAD'RAN-GLE, n. [L. quadratus, square, from quatuor, four, and angulus, angle.]

In geometry, a quadrilateral figure; a square; a figure consisting of four sides and four angles. – Encyc.

QUAD-RAN'GU-LAR, a. [supra.]

  1. Square; having four sides and four angles. – Woodward.
  2. In botany, having four prominent angles, as a leaf. – Martyn.


With four sides and four angles.


In gunnery, an instrument used for elevating cannon and pointing them.

QUAD'RANT, n. [L. quadrans, a fourth.]

  1. The fourth part; the quarter. – Brown.
  2. In geometry, the quarter of a circle; the arc of a circle containing ninety degrees; also the space or area included between this arc and two radii drawn from the center to each extremity. – Encyc.
  3. An instrument for taking the altitudes of the sun or stars, of great use in astronomy and navigation. Quadrants are variously made, but they all consist of the quarter of a circle whose limb is divided into ninety degrees; or, as in Hadley's reflecting quadrant, an arc of forty-five degrees is made to serve the same purpose as an arc of ninety degrees. Quadrant of altitude, an appendage of the artificial globe, consisting of a slip of brass of the length of a quadrant of one of the great circles of the globe, and graduated. It is fitted to the meridian and movable round to all points of the horizon. It serves as a scale in measuring altitudes, azimuths, &c. – Encyc.

QUAD-RANT'AL, a. [supra.]

Pertaining to a quadrant; also included in the fourth part of a circle; as, quadrantal space. – Derham.

QUAD-RANT'AL, n. [supra.]

A vessel used by the Romans; originally called amphora. It was square and contained 80 pounds of water. – Encyc.

QUAD'RAT, n. [L. quadratus, squared.]

  1. In printing, a piece of metal used to fill the void spaces between words, &c. Quadrats are of different sizes; as, m-quadrats, &c.
  2. A mathematical instrument, called also a geometrical square, and line of shadows. – Encyc.


  1. Square; having four equal and parallel sides.
  2. Divisible into four equal parts. – Brown.
  3. Square; equal; exact. – Howell.
  4. Suited; fitted; applicable; correspondent. – Harvey.