A quiz is a form of game or mind sport, in which the players (as individuals or in teams) attempt to answer questions correctly. It is a game to test your knowledge about a certain subject.
Quizzes are usually scored in points and many quizzes are designed to determine a winner from a group of participants – usually the participant with the highest score. They may also involve eliminating those who get too many questions wrong, the winner being the last man standing.
The earliest known examples of the word date back to 1780; its etymology is unknown, but it may have originated in student slang. It initially meant a “odd, eccentric person” or a “joke, hoax”. Later (perhaps by association with words such as “inquisitive”) it came to mean “to observe, study intently”, and thence (from about mid-19th century) “test, exam.”
There is a well-known myth about the word quiz that says that in 1791 a Dublin theater owner named Richard Daly made a bet that he could introduce a word into the language within 24 hours. He then went out and hired a group of street urchins to write the word “quiz”, which was a nonsense word, on walls around the city of Dublin. Within a day, the word was common currency and had acquired a meaning (since no one knew what it meant, everyone thought it was some sort of test) and Daly had some extra cash in his pocket. There is, however, no evidence to support the story, and the term was already in use before the alleged bet in 1791.