Verb > Quash

Verb > Quash

Quash and squash can mean the same thing. They look so much like because they come from different forms of the same Latin verb: quatere, meaning “to shake, or to strike.”

To quash something is to crush it, to smash it down, or to completely destroy it.

Part of speech:
Verb, the transitive kind: “They’re hoping to quash these protests.”

Other forms:
Quashed, quashing, quashable.

how to use it:
Pick this formal, dramatic word to strike a serious tone.

Use it to talk about people, decisions, actions, threats, commands, and events that quash things.

What kinds of things get quashed?

Sometimes it’s legal stuff, like lawsuits, subpoenas, and convictions. “They quashed the arrest warrants.” “They quashed the motion to dismiss the case.”

Sometimes it’s actions or efforts. “It quashed their attempts to reform the system.” “It quashed the publication of the book.”

But most of the time, what gets quashed is some kind of feeling, information, or other abstract thing: news, hopes, plans, theories, fears, worries, speculation, dissent, unrest, rumors, power, influence, etc.

“But the spirit of enterprise then prevailing was not to be easily quashed.”
— Frederick Whymper, The Sea: Its Stirring Story of Adventure, Peril, & Heroism, 1877

“In a dark year, it felt like a bright moment: technology drawing attention to a vital subject, despite the best efforts of the ruling party to quash the discussion.”
— Casey Newton, The Verge, 8 July 2016