pronounced kway or kwah, is a somewhat formal word, with the air of philosophy and logic about it, derived from the Latin relative pronoun qui, and is used in English with the meaning ‘considered as’ or ‘in the capacity of’ when a person or thing can be regarded in different ways or from different aspects, normally in the sequence ‘A qua B’ where B defines A more closely:

• Dressed in an Armani suit…and espadrilles, he plays a cop qua existential hero —Literary Review, 1989.

In practice qua is used more flexibly, for example in the form ‘A qua A’ (with the same noun repeated) and in sentences lacking the first noun altogether, as the following examples show:

• Look at the sky…What is there so extraordinary about it? Qua sky —Samuel Beckett, 1956

• I don't think that ‘Hard Times’ is a particularly good novel qua novel, whatever it may be as a social document —Broadcast, 1977

• ‘Beings qua being’ are not a special class or kind of being; indeed, there are no such things as beings-qua-being at all —J. Barnes, 2000.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • qua — / kwä, kwā/ prep [Latin, which way, as, from ablative singular feminine of qui who]: in the capacity or character of a legitimate interest of the stockholder qua stockholder Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • qua — avv. [lat. eccu(m ) hac ] (radd. sint.). 1. [nel luogo vicino a chi parla: mi trovo q. per caso ] ▶◀ in questo luogo (o posto), qui, [se il luogo è posto in basso] quaggiù, [se il luogo è posto in alto] quassù. ◀▶ (lett., burocr.) ivi, là, lì.… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • qua — <lat. ; »auf der Seite, wo ...; inwieweit, wie«>: 1. (Präposition) a) mittels, durch, auf dem Wege über, z. B. qua Amt festsetzen; b) gemäß, entsprechend, z. B. den Schaden qua Verdienstausfall bemessen. 2. (Konjunktion) [in der… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Qua — Qua, conj. [L., abl. of qui who.] In so far as; in the capacity or character of; as. [1913 Webster] It is with Shelley s biographers qua biographers that we have to deal. London Spectator. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Qua — (lat.), als, insofern, in seiner Eigenschaft als –, z.B. qua König, d. i. als König; qua talis, als solcher, als der er sein soll …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • qua — [kwa:, kweı US kwa:] prep formal used to show you are talking about the basic nature or job of someone or something ▪ Money, qua money, cannot provide happiness. →↑sine qua non …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • qua — <lateinisch> ([in der Eigenschaft] als; gemäß); qua Beamter; qua amtliche, auch amtlicher Befugnis …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • qua — als, in der Eigenschaft als…; qua Mediziner (muss ich sagen…) [Etym.: lat.] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • qua — [ kweı, kwa ] preposition FORMAL as: used for describing the character or position of someone or something in a particular situation: the novelist qua narrator …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • qua — as, in the capacity of, from L. qua, ablative singular fem. of qui who, from PIE *kwo , stem of relative and interrogative pronouns (Cf. O.E. hwa who, hwæt what; Goth. hvas who; Gk. posos how much? ) …   Etymology dictionary

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