Qua is a preposition which is a synonym for as or capacity of. Basically it is a slightly antiquated way of comparing something to its class. It’s a little hard to describe but we will list lots of examples below to help you understand.

It may be pronounced with either a long or short sound at the end (kwey or kwah). It is most often used in regards to the arts or objective mediums which can be evaluated.


It is not a sneering attack on the bourgeois pretension of those who visit art galleries, nor is it a confection of arch references to the notion of art qua art or the artist qua artist, full of winks and nods to the cognoscenti. [The Scotsman]

But the Beatles qua phenomenon was due to a confluence of forces that defined a historical moment. [Huffington Post]

Chadwick’s role of Recording Clerk is a significant one in that she serves as a sort of first among equals qua leaders of the Seaville Meeting and dedicates much of her time to supporting various community actions to help those in need, such as eight different “food cupboards.” [Cape May County Herald]

I’m no musical snob, and my tastes are truly eclectic, but Jewish music has suffered greatly from being “dumbed down” to the point where most of it sounds like dance tracks for simcha dancing at a Jewish wedding. That’s all well and good at a wedding, but in terms of music qua music, there’s very little of quality. [The Jewish Week]

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