quid pro quo

\ ?kwid-?prō-?kwō How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio) \

Definition of quid pro quo

: something given or received for something else also : a deal arranging a quid pro quo

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Quid Pro Quo and the Apothecary

In the early 16th century, a quid pro quo was something obtained from an apothecary. That's because when quid pro quo (New Latin for "something for something") was first used in English, it referred to the process of substituting one medicine for another—whether intentionally (and sometimes fraudulently) or accidentally. The meaning of the phrase was quickly extended, however, and within several decades it was being used for more general equivalent exchanges. These days, it often occurs in legal contexts.

Examples of quid pro quo in a Sentence

in politics nobody does something for nothing: there's always a quid pro quo involved
Recent Examples on the Web Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, was curious about quid pro quo, asking whether conditioning foreign aid is necessarily problematic. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump’s impeachment trial is either nearly over or just beginning," 30 Jan. 2020 There was no quid pro quo, no bribery, no extortion, no crime, and no abuse of power. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Alabama Republicans say Trump impeachment ‘a sad day for America’; lone Democrat votes to charge president," 19 Dec. 2019 And discussing quid pro quo, or extortion or bribery, leads right to Joe and Hunter Biden. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Democrats’ impeachment of Trump is way too thin," 17 Dec. 2019 Trump's impeachment centers on what Democrats allege to be a quid pro quo between associates of Trump and top government officials in Ukraine. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'Going to be a blowout': Lindsey Graham says Schumer effort to 'destroy' Trump presidency will hurt Democrats in 2020," 16 Jan. 2020 Even if Bolton could provide direct testimony about a quid pro quo for the aid to Ukraine, Republicans have argued that such an action doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "Mitch McConnell outmaneuvers the Democrats — again," 7 Jan. 2020 The second defence has grown difficult to sustain as witness after witness has testified, under oath, that there was in fact a quid pro quo. The Economist, "Gordon Sondland’s testimony forces Republicans to shift arguments," 7 Nov. 2019 Trump asked the Ukrainian President to investigate these corruption allegations during a July 25 phone call and held up military aide during what Democrats allege to be a quid pro quo for a political favor. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "Trump asks union boss: 'Would you like the Hunter Biden job?'," 9 Jan. 2020 Republicans have argued there was no quid pro quo in the Trump phone call. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Trump Impeachment Theater offers two plotlines for Schiff," 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quid pro quo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quid pro quo

1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quid pro quo

New Latin, something for something

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Time Traveler for quid pro quo

Time Traveler

The first known use of quid pro quo was in 1532

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Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quid pro quo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, http://www.anishanyc.com/dictionary/quid%20pro%20quo. Accessed 15 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for quid pro quo

quid pro quo


Financial Definition of quid pro quo

What It Is

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that literally means "something for something." The phrase usually indicates an exchange of goods or services of roughly equivalent value.

How It Works

From a legal perspective, quid pro quo indicates that a good or service has been traded for something of equal value. In particular, quid pro quo is used explicitly to indicate that there has been "consideration" in a contract, meaning that there are goods or services being delivered and that acceptable payment is made for these goods or services. Without consideration, or quid pro quo, for example, a contract may be determined to be nonbinding and invalid.

In the political world, for example, quid pro quo sometimes refers to giving support, financial or otherwise, to a political candidate in exchange for the expectation of direct support for an activity of the political benefactor. Quid pro quo may appear as bribery in these cases and such support must always be tested for conflicts of interest.

Why It Matters

Quid pro quo is one of the most common Latin legal terms used. In any transaction, legal, political or otherwise, it is helpful to know the quid pro quo, that is, the balance of the value of the service or good and the financial compensation being offered.

Source: Investing Answers

quid pro quo

How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quid pro quo

: something that is given to you or done for you in return for something you have given to or done for someone else

quid pro quo

\ ?kwid-?prō-?kwō How to pronounce quid pro quo (audio) \

Legal Definition of quid pro quo

: something (as consideration) given or received for something else

History and Etymology for quid pro quo

New Latin, something for something

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More from Merriam-Webster on quid pro quo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quid pro quo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quid pro quo

Britannica English: Translation of quid pro quo for Arabic Speakers

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