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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Quail \Quail\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Qualled; p. pr. & vb. n. Qualling.] [AS. cwelan to die, perish; akin to cwalu violent death, D. kwaal pain, G. qual torment, OHG. quelan to suffer torment, Lith. gelti to hurt, gela pain. Cf. Quell.] 1. To die; to perish; hence, to wither; to fade. [Obs.] --Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To become quelled; to become cast down; to sink under trial or apprehension of danger; to lose the spirit and power of resistance; to lose heart; to give way; to shrink; to cower. [1913 Webster] The atheist power shall quail, and confess his fears. I. Taylor. Stouter hearts than a woman's have quailed in this terrible winter. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] Syn: to cower; flinch; shrink; quake; tremble; blench; succumb; yield. [1913 Webster]