from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or concerning quality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of descriptions or distinctions based on some quality rather than on some quantity
  • adj. of a form of analysis that yields the identity of a compound
  • n. Something qualitative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Relating to quality; having the character of quality.
  • n.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Originally, depending upon qualities; now, non-quantitative; relating to the possession of qualities without reference to the quantities involved; stating that some phenomenon occurs, but without measurement. The word occurs, according to Dr. Fitzedward Hall, in Gaule's Πῦς-μαντία (1652).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. involving distinctions based on qualities
  • adj. relating to or involving comparisons based on qualities


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, producing a primary quality, from Medieval Latin quālitātīvus, from Late Latin, qualitative, from Latin quālitās, quālitāt-, quality; see quality.


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  • A painstaking course in qualitative and quantitative analysis by John Wing gave me an appreciation of the need for, and beauty of, accurate measurement.

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  • The vintage approach assumes that new investments are characterized by the most modern technology and that the capital that is formed as a result does not change in qualitative terms over its remaining life.

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  • The new, more detailed disclosure requirements would be "qualitative" - covering details of how pay is decided and how it is linked to performance - as well as "quantitative".

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  • In brief, it wasn’t that long ago when women gathered together in qualitative research circles to complain about feeling marginalized and invisible: powerless.

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