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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Quaere \Qu[ae]"re\, v. imperative. [L., imperative of quaerere to seek.] Inquire; question; see; -- used to signify doubt or to suggest investigation.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Latin imperative of quaerere "to ask, inquire" (see query (v.)). Hence "one may ask" (1530s) as an introduction to a question.


n. (context archaic English) A question or query. vb. (context archaic English) To ask or query; used imperatively to introduce a question or signify doubt.


Quaere is legal Latin, literally meaning "inquire" or "query". In legal drafting it is usually used to indicate that the person expressing the view that precedes the phrase may not adhere to the hypothesis following it. For example:

"I am of the view that the defendant had constructive knowledge of the acts of the sub-contractor, although quaere whether this would still be true had the sub-contractor not included a summary of those acts in the joint proposal that was issued."

The word Quaere has occasionally, as a result of misunderstanding, appeared on maps or in gazetteers. The columnist Miles Kington, writing in The Independent, records that a map-maker c. 1578 was compiling a map of Wiltshire. There was a hamlet where he had doubts about the correct name. He therefore wrote on the draft map Quaere. This was mistaken by the engraver of the map as being the name of a hamlet or village. The error persisted for well over two centuries; the following brief entry appears in a gazetteer published in 1805:

QUÆRE, (Wilts) near Wilton.

Usage examples of "quaere".

But quaere, Lord Coke being contra, whose opinion it is ever dangerous to neglect.

But quaere, if they should be imitated more than as to other breaches of trust in general.

But the enumeration is unsystematical, and in this country, where the produce of the earth is so spontaneous, as to have rendered things of this kind scarcely a breach of civility or good manners, in the eyes of the people, quaere, if it would not too much enlarge the field of Criminal law?

Now, she cannot express her emotions fully: Quaere: will she feel them fully?