English Words in Action, Group Q

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

quack (KWAK) (s) (noun), quacks (pl)
1. An individual who pretends to be a doctor, administering medical advise; an untrained medical imposter: When legitimate doctors couldn't help his painful back trouble, Mark resorted to quacks for help.
2. A charlatan, a phony or a fake: Dana realized that the psychiatrist was really a quack and so she decided to go to the clinic for help.
3. Etymology: a quack or "fake doctor", is a short form of quacksalver, from Dutch kwakzalver, "charlatan".

Dutch kwakken means "to quack", so the word may originally have meant "someone who quacks boastfully, like a duck, about his salve or other medical remedies".

quagmire (KWAG mighr, KWAHG mighr) (s) (noun), quagmires (pl)
1. Soft muddy ground that is soaked and difficult to move around in: The had trouble driving his tractor because it was stuck in the quagmire after the heavy rains.
2. A predicament, serious difficulty, a precarious situation: The representative of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) stated that the EU (European Union) will need more than diplomacy to get Greece out of its financial quagmire.
A difficult or bad position.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quail (KWAYL) (verb), quails; quailed; quailing
To cower, to draw back, to tremble with fear: The students quailed when the principal suddenly entered the classroom.
quaint (KWAYNT) (adjective), more quaint, most quaint
Charming, pleasingly unusual, old fashioned: During their trip, Mike and Karen enjoyed a village's quaint customs.
Relating to being strange or odd in a pleasing way.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quake (s) (noun), quakes (pl)
1. Seismic tremors or a shaking or moving of the earth’s surface: The quake caused a great deal of damage on the island.
2. A bodily shivering, an agitation, a nervous expression of fear or anxiety: A quake of fear passed through the family when they saw the lightening and heard the loud thunder.
quake (KWAYK) (verb), quakes; quaked; quaking
To shiver, to tremble, to shudder: The people quaked with fear when the earth tremors were shaking their houses and big buildings in the city.
qualification (kwahl" uh fi KAY shuhn) (s) (noun), qualifications (pl)
1. Competencies, abilities, suitableness: Only applicants with the proper qualifications will be considered for the job.
2. Skills, abilities, training, suitability: Thomas had the necessary qualifications to do the repair work for the house.
3. Provisos, conditions, limitations: The contract has several qualifications for the employees.
qualified (KWAHL uh fighd") (adjective), more qualified, most qualified
1. Possessing experience, being competent and knowledgeable: Max was told to take his dog to a qualified veterinarian if he wanted it to get better.
2. Guarded, tentative, conditional: Brian gave a qualified answer when he was asked to give definite assurances that Melba could get the flight out that evening.
qualify (KWAHL uh figh) (verb), qualifies; qualified; qualifying
1. To prepare, to ensure appropriate training, skills, to measure up: Two years of experience will qualify personnel for a promotion; however, Myrna didn't qualify because she only had six months on the job.
2. To modify, to enhance, to change: The head of the company said the employees were not permitted to make any changes, but later he decided to qualify his answer.
3. To describe, to make more specific: In grammar, adjectives are words that qualify nouns.
qualm (KWAHM, KWAWM) (s) (noun), qualms (pl)
1. A sudden misgiving or an uneasy feeling of acting wrongly; a reluctance: Jason felt a certain qualm at leaving his work incomplete before he went on his vacation.

The workers had many qualms as to whether the company's plans were practical.

2. Etymology: The origin of the word is uncertain, although the original English definition meant "illness" or "disease".
A feeling of sickness in the stomach.
© ALL rights are reserved.

A sudden feeling of uneasiness pang of conscience.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quandary (s) (noun), quandaries (pl)
A situation or condition in which a person is confused about what he or she should do: Mark was in a quandary as to which Presidential candidate he should vote for.
A state of uncertainty as to what the next move should be.
© ALL rights are reserved.

A situation of confusion as to what should be done.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quarry (s) (noun), quarries (pl)
Animals or people that are being hunted or pursued: Dick Tracey, the detective, was following his criminal quarry into the bank.
Prey that is eagerly being hunted.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Those that are being sought for profitable reasone.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quell (verb), quells; quelled; quelling
1. To put an end to some kind of disorder, to put down, to quiet; normally by the use of force: The police used fire hoses and tear gas to quell the rioters.

Quell, "suppress", and "subdue" all mean to put an end to a disturbance; such as, a riot or a revolt, by the use of persuasion or by force.

To quell an uprising, authorities may employ either persuasion or force, or both; and the word suggests taking measures to discourage the participants in order to keep the situation from getting out of control.

When used in a figurative sense, quell may merely mean to quiet or to reduce the intensity of or to calm, as certain feelings; for example, to quell fears.

2. To subdue, to calm, or to reduce something; such as fear or worry: Jimmy's mother quelled him with a strong look because he was making too much noise.

Karl quelled his wife's fears about the thunderstorm that was going on by holding her in his arms and calmly reassuring her that everything would be all right.

To suppress or to quiet a disturbing situation.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

quibble (s) (noun), quibbles (pl)
A slight complaint or criticism about something that is not important: Tony's only quibble about the new computer is that it's only slightly faster than the old one.

Cleo and Bette had quibbles about the bus being five minutes late because of the slow traffic.

quibble (verb), quibbles; quibbled; quibbling
1. To argue or to complain in a trivial or petty way: The computer programmer and his customer were quibbling about how parts of the program should function.
2. To present objections about insignificant things: People quibbled about the length of the speech and said nothing about its main content.

Shawn was quibbling about the amount that the bookstore was charging for the small publication.

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.