Definition of quest in English:



  • 1A long or arduous search for something.

    ‘the quest for a reliable vaccine has intensified’
    • ‘The quest for learning about what's important turned into a quest for certainty.’
    • ‘The quest for parking space in the city seems an eternal one.’
    • ‘A haunting air of regret hangs over each country-tinged waltz, as jaded experience battles with eternal hope in the quest for love.’
    • ‘As such they are integral to the quest for political hegemony.’
    • ‘It is understood that the quest for funding will start in both Mayo and Roscommon County Councils.’
    • ‘If we accept these humble terms, the quest for a soul mate might just be a noble pursuit after all.’
    • ‘It also made the quest for salvation a communal quest, and therefore excluded no one.’
    • ‘Faith thus combined with reason in the quest for understanding, and indeed extended the possibilities of understanding.’
    • ‘Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world.’
    • ‘The quest for the hornbill began with a search by the team for nests.’
    • ‘Kant saw this as Hume's challenge to philosophy, understood as the quest for a priori knowledge of fundamental truths.’
    • ‘Ultimately I think that the quest for God is about searching for threads of the divine in the tapestry of human experience.’
    • ‘Our whole society is based on the quest for knowledge.’
    • ‘Essentially positivist in outlook, the quest for explanation is sometimes labelled critical rationalism.’
    • ‘My main preoccupation has been the quest for happiness.’
    • ‘The quest for an identity is an important search and one often overlooked.’
    • ‘Employers had difficulty holding on to employees as they upped stakes and changed employers at the drop of a hat or in the quest for more money.’
    • ‘These cultural notions run counter to the quest for academic excellence.’
    • ‘Investors often overlook dividends in the quest for capital growth.’
    • ‘How about trekking to one of the planet's coldest spots wrapped up in thermals and Gore-Tex, all in the quest for artistic inspiration?’
    search, hunt, pursuit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(in medieval romance) an expedition made by a knight to accomplish a prescribed task.
      • ‘Three medieval knights set off on their horses on their individual quests to put right all things that have gone wrong.’
      • ‘In the time of Arthur, the quest for the Grail was the highest spiritual pursuit.’
      • ‘So my idea is that we need these shining knights from the castle to journey forth on a quest.’
      • ‘It tells the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail.’
      • ‘Just as in his academic work he had explored the meaning of Medieval quests and puzzles, he applied these themes to his fiction.’
      expedition, adventure, journey, voyage, trek, travels, odyssey, wandering, journeying, exploration, venture, search, undertaking
      View synonyms


  • 1 Search for something.

    ‘he was a real scientist, questing after truth’
    • ‘Ours is the world of love, questing to find the common links that bind all people.’
    • ‘He quests for a trophy to call his own, hoping the Kartoon King ice cream contest might gain him the conspicuous congratulations he so desperately requires.’
    • ‘This wise one was known as a healer as well as a warrior and one who had quested through the mountains and the valleys of the earth.’
    • ‘If they encounter a speck of nutriment they fan out to quest for more.’
    • ‘Whatever allegorical path of interpretation one pursues, it is the fine filigree fiction of Shaul's anguish that grips, as he quests for the unknowable.’
    • ‘However for me gaming is a form of escapism, of vicariously experiencing things I'll never do, like blasting tie fighters into dust, defending the earth from alien invasion, or questing through dungeons to stop the Dark Lord.’
    • ‘Jim Sherwood once again manages the youth side, as they quest for back to back Cup and League honours.’
    • ‘James Joyce, for one, used to quest exhaustively for every fresh word as if it were a phoenix feather.’
    • ‘They all are questing for a way of actually imparting to the people who work in the organisation that this is a great thing to do, that these are great organisations, and they want to do that.’
    • ‘Thus, when male homosexuals come into analysis it is often because they have been unable to find what they are questing for, namely, the love partner who is perceived as the embodiment of their own unactualized masculine potential.’
    • ‘Rather than taking the incremental, linear approach, he's quested after different opportunities, different experiences.’
    • ‘Rock journalists have long been questing after the next visionary songwriter capable of treading in Dylan's gaping, mythical footprints, but so far those who draw comparison only crumble under the weight of his legend.’
    • ‘In the early 1700s, French economist Cantillon expanded the definition to include those who quested for earnings where there was an element of uncertainty.’
    • ‘At the basketball games on Friday night, the whole crowd was erupting to its feet as people in the stands were shouting and cheering while SFU quested for yet another victory.’
    • ‘Down you go, and down, and further down, spiralling into the seismically unstable bowels of the Los Angeles earth in circles of looming darkness, questing for a parking space of your own, further and further down.’
    • ‘But writing does function as the object of desire for the heroine, that which she quests after, that which sustains her subjectivity and gives her consciousness of otherness in the world.’
    • ‘Evangelical Christianity especially presents a variety of options to a culture questing for meaning, providing journey language and help with the problems of everyday life.’
    • ‘Gough is a prolific songwriter, eternally questing for the solid gold classic.’
    • ‘Dark Earth is the story of a young Glaswegian couple, Euan and Valerie, questing for quality time alone together as they visit the Antonine Wall in West Lothian.’
    • ‘Equipped with a single clue (a four-line poem) and their canoe, the Minnow, the boys spend a summer questing for treasure.’
    1. 1.1literary [with object]Search for; seek out.
      ‘they quest wisdom’
      • ‘Only when beliefs conflict with personal experiences will most people start questing the truth of their beliefs.’
      search, seek, look, hunt, pursue, investigate, explore, probe, inspect
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), quester (verb), based on Latin quaerere ask, seek. See also inquest.