I know this phrase from usage with DNS as Fully Qualified Domain Name but that's the only use case I'm aware of.

So, 1. I'm wondering what "Fully Qualified" means by itself and how it is applicable to other subjects.

and 2. is "fully qualified" and "unambiguous" interchangeable?


Fully Qualified means that whatever it is has all the qualifications which are applicable. This could mean a qualification such as an FQDN has:

qualified adjective
2 not complete or absolute; limited


That is, a fully-qualified domain name is limited to a specific domain, and that limitation in scope is sufficiently stringent to make it unambiguous.

But they could be academic or vocational qualifications:

qualified adjective
1 officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified


Fully Qualified Cosmetic Professionals Fully Qualified Carpenter

In these cases one would not talk of an "unambiguous carpenter".

  • I understand the case for "fully qualified carpenter" but I don't see how this apply to the FQDN. – Jan Matějka Sep 10 '13 at 15:03
  • +11 For this, I was trying to figure out how the original meaning of "qualified" was twisted by techies to mean that a FQDN was more "capable", but it's just a description of the scope of the domain name, that it's fully "narrowed". – JeffSahol Sep 10 '13 at 15:15
  • @yaccz to your follow-up question, the "fully qualified" in FQDN relies on a different meaning of the word ("limited or modified in some way") than the "fully qualified carpenter" ("fitted (by training or experience) for a given purpose") ... see definitions here:merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qualified – JeffSahol Sep 10 '13 at 15:19
  • @JeffSahol Yes, as in "qualified success" – Andrew Leach Sep 10 '13 at 15:20
  • I'm still having difficulty understanding the "not complete or absolute" part. In the case of FQDN it seem to me exactly opposite - FQDN is complete, absolute name. – Jan Matějka Sep 10 '13 at 15:25

Wiktionary: Qualification meaning 4 applies to the carpenter, while meaning 1 applies to the Domain Name. The Fully just means that there are no more qualifications required to make someone suitable for the work, or to remove ambiguity.

  • 1
    Please note the following advice in the Help section and supplement your answer accordingly. Provide context for links : Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline. – TrevorD Sep 10 '13 at 17:19

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