Qualm vs calm

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Qualm and calm are two words that are very similar in spelling and pronunciation, but have two very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of qualm and calm, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Qualm means a misgiving, a nagging feeling of doubt or worry or a pang of conscience. The plural form of qualm is qualms. The word qualm is derived from the Old English word cwealm which means disaster, despair, torment or death.

Calm means not to show violent emotion or a period of peace. Calm may also mean the absence of blowing wind. Calm is used as an adjective or a noun, as well as a verb. When used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, calm may mean to tranquilize or soothe someone or something. Related words are calms, calmed, calming. The word calm is derived from the Latin word cauma which means the heat of the mid-day sun.


One qualm that some of the bill’s opponents have had, Zalewski said, is that the biggest companies in the space had no Illinois footprint and didn’t deserve a special carve-out in legislation for them to operate. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Their qualm with the show revolves around its depiction of suicide, which is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health professionals warn that glamorizing the act can contribute to the copycat factor among teens. (The McPherson Sentinel)

Muslim leaders in Britain called for calm and special prayers for the victims of the Manchester bombing as the holy month of Ramadan begins. (UPI)

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport just introduced two therapy miniature horses to help calm down passengers before they fly. (The Business Insider)