Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR QUALM

He had put her aside without a qualm; and now he met her announcement with approval.

I feel no qualm in saying that his exit was more hasty than his approach.

Yet I had no qualm of fear, no doubt, even, touching the issue.

Then I shall be able, without a qualm, to send Godfrey to the workhouse.

Ma Tamby did not know what it is to have a qualm—which she could not have spelled if she had known.

He felt that he could kill Bruce Browning without a qualm of conscience.

And the salve to the qualm was always the same remembrance that the deed had not been done yet.

But the deed was not yet done, and the qualm was kept under, and he slept.

These go about their work without one spark of pity, one qualm of ruth.

Every gust of wind that rumbled in the chimney sent a qualm to his heart.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English cwealm (West Saxon) "death, murder, slaughter; disaster; plague; torment," utcualm (Anglian) "utter destruction," probably related to cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," cwelan "to die" (see quell). Sense softened to "feeling of faintness" 1520s; figurative meaning "uneasiness, doubt" is from 1550s; that of "scruple of conscience" is 1640s.

Evidence of a direct path from the Old English to the modern senses is wanting, but it is plausible, via the notion of "fit of sickness." The other suggested etymology, less satisfying, is to take the "fit of uneasiness" sense from Dutch kwalm "steam, vapor, mist" (cognate with German Qualm "smoke, vapor, stupor"), which also might be ultimately from the same Germanic root as quell.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR QUALM

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.