Quiet or Quite?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between quiet and quite?

Quiet means little or no noise.
  • The kids are quiet when the TV is on.
Quite means to an utmost extent or fairly.
  • Admitting failure is quite cleansing but never pleasurable. (Michael Morpurgo)


The noun quiet denotes a lack of or very little noise. It can also be used as an adjective.

  • I like fishing. I like the peace and quiet of being at sea. (Rafael Nadal)
  • (Here, quiet is a noun.)
  • All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. (Blaise Pascal)
  • (Here, the word quiet is an adjective.)
  • Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. (Napoleon Bonaparte)


The word quite is an adverb that most often means to the utmost extent. However, somewhat unusually, it can also mean fairly or to a significant extent, which is nearly the opposite. (The meaning is determined by context.)

  • How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly ocean. (Arthur C. Clarke)
  • (Here, quite means to the utmost extent.)
  • It is quite cold outside.
  • (Here, quite means to a significant extent.)

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? What are nouns? List of easily confused words