Quiet or Quite?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Quiet" and "Quite"?

"Quiet" and "quite" are easy to confuse because they look similar. However, they are pronounced differently, and they have very different meanings.
  • "Quiet" means little or no noise. For example:
    • The kids are quiet when the TV is on.
  • "Quite" means to an utmost extent or fairly. For example:
    • Admitting failure is quite cleansing but never pleasurable. (Author Michael Morpurgo)
Click to hear how "quiet" and "quite" are pronounced:

quiet or quite?

More about "Quiet"

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

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

More about "Quite"

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.) "Quite" is classified as an intensifier.

Example sentences with "quite":
  • How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly ocean. correct tick (Science writer Arthur C. Clarke)
  • (Here, "quite" means to the utmost extent.)
  • It is quite cold outside.
  • (Here, "quite" means to a significant extent.)

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