[Vocabulary] Usage of "quite"

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sonatas86

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I'm not sure about the function and meaning of the word "quite" in the sentence below. Would anyone please help?

"Through making Afghan Woman’s Hour I met many female carpet weavers, but up until then I had no idea of the hardship they had to endure to make these works of art, and I was struck by quite how unhappy many of these women were." (Retrieved from Dear Zari written by Zarghuna Kargar)
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probus

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"Quite how unhappy" means "how entirely (or completely) unhappy". The use of "quite" here requires the word order inversion. That fact is idiomatic.
 

konungursvia

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It's a very difficult word. Literally, it means 'just about fully,' or 'a hair short of completely' but it is often used emotionally (in my view) to mean 'fairly' or 'more than expected' or any other demonstrative of quantity that exceeds expectations.
 
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