AskDefine | Define quizzing

Dictionary Definition

quiz n : an examination consisting of a few short questions v : examine someone's knowledge of something; "The teacher tests us every week"; "We got quizzed on French irregular verbs" [syn: test] [also: quizzing, quizzes, quizzed, quizzes (pl)]quizzing See quiz

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of quiz

Extensive Definition

A quiz is a form of game or mind sport in which the players (as individuals or in teams) attempt to answer questions correctly. Quizzes are also brief assessments used in education and similar fields to measure growth in knowledge, abilities, and/or skills.


The first appearance of the word is from 1784 and means an odd person. This sense survives today in the word "quizzical". It was also used in the term quizzing glass, a common accoutrement of British Regency dandies. It later acquired a meaning of to make fun of, or to mock. How it acquired its current meaning of a test is unknown, but that sense did not appear until 1867 and then it was in the United States.
The OED2 has a cite from 1847 where the word appears: "She com back and quiesed us", which could be a clue to its origin. Quiz as a test could be a corruption of the Latin Qui es, meaning "Who are you?" American Heritage says it may be from the English dialect verb quiset, meaning to question. In any case it is probably from the same root as question and inquisitive.
There is a well-known but untrue story of the word "quiz", which says that in 1791 a Dublin theater owner named James Daly made a bet that he could introduce a word into the language within twenty-four hours. He then went out and hired a group of street urchins to write the word "quiz", which was a nonsense word, on walls around the city of Dublin. Within a day, the word was common currency and had acquired a meaning (since no one knew what it meant, everyone thought it was some sort of test) and Daly had some extra cash in his pocket.
While entertaining, there is absolutely no evidence to support it and the term was already in use before the alleged bet in 1791.

As competitions

Quizzes may be held on a variety of subjects (general knowledge, 'pot luck') or subject-specific. The format of the quiz can also vary widely. Popularly known competition quizzes include See also:

In education

A quiz is usually a form of student assessment, but often has fewer questions of lesser difficulty and requires less time for completion than a test. This use is typically found in the USA and Canada.

Other quizzes

Additionally, a personality quiz may be a series of multiple-choice questions about the respondent without right or wrong answers. The responses to these questions are tallied according to a key, and the result purports to reveal some quality of the respondent. This kind of "quiz" was originally popularized by women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan. They have since become common on the internet, where the result page typically includes code which can be added to a blog entry to publicize the result. These postings are common on LiveJournal.
There are also many online quizzes, many webmasters have quiz sections on their websites and forums, phpBB2 has one MOD (modification) which allows users to submit quizzes, this is the Ultimate Quiz MOD.
Most of the online quizzes are to be taken lightly. The results do not often reflect the true personality or relationship. They are also rarely psychometrically valid. However, they may occasion reflection on the subject of the quiz and provide a springboard for a person to explore his or her emotions, beliefs, or actions.

See also

External links

  • – An active listing of quiz links.
quizzing in Danish: Quiz
quizzing in German: Quiz
quizzing in French: Quiz
quizzing in Indonesian: Kuis
quizzing in Italian: Quiz
quizzing in Hungarian: Kvíz
quizzing in Macedonian: Квиз
quizzing in Dutch: Quiz
quizzing in Japanese: クイズ
quizzing in Norwegian: Quiz
quizzing in Polish: Quiz
quizzing in Portuguese: Quiz
quizzing in Russian: Викторина
quizzing in Simple English: Quiz
quizzing in Serbian: Kviz
quizzing in Finnish: Tietokilpailu
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