transitive verbquizzed, quiz·zing, quiz·zes
- To question (someone), especially closely or repeatedly: “His searching questions as he quizzed me on my work made me tongue-tied at first” ( Susan Sellers )
- To test the knowledge of by posing questions: quizzed the class on state capitals. See Synonyms at ask.
- Archaic To poke fun at; mock.
noun pl. quiz·zes
- A questioning or inquiry.
- A short oral or written test.
- Archaic A practical joke.
Origin of quiz Origin unknown
Related Forms:Word History:
While the origins of quiz
remain obscure, we can at least trace the development of its senses. The term, first recorded in the late 1700s, originally meant “an odd or eccentric person.” From the noun in this sense came a verb meaning “to make sport or fun of” and “to regard mockingly.” In English dialects and probably in American English the verb quiz
acquired senses relating to interrogation and questioning. This presumably occurred because quiz
was associated with question, inquisitive,
or perhaps the English dialect verb quiset,
“to question” (probably itself short for obsolete inquisite,
“to investigate”). From this new area of meaning came the noun and verb senses all too familiar to students.
- Something designed to puzzle one or make one ridiculous; banter; raillery.
- One who or that which quizzes.
- (dated) An odd or absurd person or thing.
- A competition in the answering of questions.
- We came second in the pub quiz.
- A school examination of less importance, or of greater brevity, than others given in the same course.
- A shorter version of a test. Usually given in a classroom setting.
(third-person singular simple present quizzes, present participle quizzing, simple past and past participle quizzed)
- (archaic) To hoax; to chaff or mock with pretended seriousness of discourse; to make sport of, as by obscure questions.
- (archaic) To peer at; to eye suspiciously or mockingly.
- To question closely, to interrogate.
- To instruct by means of a quiz.
The true etymology is unknown.