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Pronunciation RealAudio

quietus (kwy-EE-tuhs) noun

1. A final stroke that settles something.

2. Discharge from life; death.

3. A release from a duty or debt.

[Short for Middle English quietus est (he is quit), a formula of discharge from a debt or other obligation, from Medieval Latin quietus est, from Latin, quietus, past participle of quiescere (to rest), from quies (rest, quiet).]

The words acquit, quiet, quiescent, acquiesce, are some of the cousins of today's word, all descendants of the same common root.

"It is not so much that writing provided an escape from the perils of the Revolution, but rather that the Revolution afforded a distraction from his inward soul-wrestling and austere studies and perpetual susceptibility to the lure of an easeful quietus." Andy Martin; Napoleon on Happiness; Raritan (New Brunswick, New Jersey); Spring 2000.

"The irony is, of course, that the Curse will provide its own quietus and lead me to the peace I have so desperately sought."
Michael Bywater; Not With a Whimper But With a Bang; Independent on Sunday (London, UK); May 19, 1996.

This week's theme: Miscellaneous words


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