—qualityless, adj./kwol"i tee/, n., pl. qualities, adj.n.1. an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute: the chemical qualities of alcohol.2. character or nature, as belonging to or distinguishing a thing: the quality of a sound.3. character with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence: food of poor quality; silks of fine quality.4. high grade; superiority; excellence: wood grain of quality.5. a personality or character trait: kindness is one of her many good qualities.6. native excellence or superiority.7. an accomplishment or attainment.8. good or high social position: a man of quality.9. the superiority or distinction associated with high social position.10. Acoustics. the texture of a tone, dependent on its overtone content, that distinguishes it from others of the same pitch and loudness.11. Phonet. the tonal color, or timbre, that characterizes a particular vowel sound.12. Logic. the character of a proposition as affirmative or negative.13. Thermodynam. the proportion or percentage of vapor in a mixture of liquid and vapor, as wet steam.14. social status or position.15. a person of high social position: He's quality, that one is.adj.16. of or having superior quality: quality paper.17. producing or providing products or services of high quality or merit: a quality publisher.18. of or occupying high social status: a quality family.19. marked by a concentrated expenditure of involvement, concern, or commitment: Counselors are urging that working parents try to spend more quality time with their children.[1250-1300; ME qualite < OF < L qualitas, equiv. to qual(is) of what sort + -itas -ITY]Syn. 1. trait, character, feature. QUALITY, ATTRIBUTE, PROPERTY agree in meaning a particular characteristic (of a person or thing). A QUALITY is a characteristic, innate or acquired, that, in some particular, determines the nature and behavior of a person or thing: naturalness as a quality; the quality of meat. An ATTRIBUTE was originally a quality attributed, usually to a person or something personified; more recently it has meant a fundamental or innate characteristic: an attribute of God; attributes of a logical mind.PROPERTY applies only to things; it means a characteristic belonging specifically in the constitution of, or found (invariably) in, the behavior of a thing: physical properties of uranium or of limestone. 3. nature, kind, grade, sort, condition.
* * *In philosophy, a property that applies to things taken singly, in contrast to a relation, which applies to things taken in pairs, triples, etc.The distinction drawn by Galileo and John Locke between primary and secondary qualities is motivated by the fact that modern science seems to reveal that unaided sensory perception gives false or incomplete information about the intrinsic qualities of physical objects. In this view, primary qualities, such as shape, quantity, and motion, are genuine properties of things that are describable by mathematics, whereas secondary qualities, such as odour, taste, sound, and colour, exist only in human consciousness.
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