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See also: quarter-


A US quarter, 25 cent coin.


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Particularly: "British"

Etymology 1[edit]

Via French quartier, from Latin quartarius, from quartus.


quarter (not comparable)

  1. Pertaining to an aspect of a quarter.
  2. (chiefly) Consisting of a fourth part, a quarter (1/4, 25%).
    a quarter hour; a quarter century; a quarter note; a quarter pound
  3. (chiefly) Related to a three-month term, a quarter of a year.
    A quarter day is one terminating a quarter of the year.
    A quarter session is one held quarterly at the end of a quarter.
Derived terms[edit]
Usage notes[edit]

Often used in a combining form quarter-.


quarter (countable and uncountable, plural quarters)

  1. Any fourth of something, particularly:
    1. A quarter-dollar, divided into 25 cents; the coin of that value minted in the United States or Canada.
    2. (now chiefly financial) A quarter of the year, 3 months; a season.
    3. (historical) The quarter-ton or tun, divided into 8 bushels, the medieval English unit of volume and weight named by the Magna Carta as the basis for measures of wine, ale, and grain
      • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 4, page 204:
        One of these is 1 Hen. V, cap. 10, defining the quarter of corn [i.e., grain] to be eight struck bushels, and putting fines on purveyors who take more.
    4. (historical) The quarter-yard, divided into 4 nails, an obsolete English unit of length long used in the cloth trade
    5. (historical) The watch: A quarter of the night, nominally 3 hours but varying over the year.
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Mark VI:
        And aboute the fourth quartre of the nyght, he cam unto them, walkinge apon the see [...].
    6. (heraldry) A charge occupying a fourth of a coat of arms, larger than a canton and normally on the upper dexter side, formed by a perpendicular line from the top meeting a horizontal line from the side.
    7. (basketball) A period into which a game is divided. (usually 8, 10 or 12 minutes according to the rules).
    8. quarterfinal
  2. Any substantial fraction of something less than half, particularly:
    1. A division or section of a town or other area, whether or not it constituted a fourth of the whole.
    2. (usually in the plural) A living place, from which:
      1. (military slang, now rare) A quartermaster; a quartermaster sergeant.
        • 1925, Ford Madox Ford, “Parade's End”, in No More Parades, Penguin, published 2012, page 360:
          Tietjens said: ‘Send the Canadian sergeant-major to me at the double….’ to the quarter.
      2. (uncountable, obsolete except in phrase no quarter) Amity, friendship, concord; (now) accommodation given to a defeated opponent, mercy.
        • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
          In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom.
        • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Bacon, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
          I knew two that were competitors for the secretary's place, [] and yet kept good quarter between themselves.
        • 1955, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, page 1110:
          Hard fighting and long labour they had still; for the Southrons were bold men and grim, and fierce in despair, and the Easterlings were strong and war-hardened and asked for no quarter.
    3. The part on either side of a horse's hoof between the toe and heel, the side of its coffin.
      • 1877, Anna Sewell, chapter 23, in Black Beauty[1]:
        [] at last she kicked right over the carriage pole and fell down, after giving me a severe blow on my near quarter.
    4. (nautical) The aftmost part of a vessel's side, roughly from the last mast to the stern.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


quarter (third-person singular simple present quarters, present participle quartering, simple past and past participle quartered)

  1. (transitive) To divide into quarters.
  2. (transitive) To provide housing for military personnel or other equipment.
    Quarter the horses in the third stable.
  3. (intransitive) To lodge; to have a temporary residence.
  4. (transitive) To quartersaw.
    • 1758, Thomas Hale, A Compleat Body Of Husbandry, page 333:
      But there is, as in other woods, a great deal of difference between this and the quartered timber.
See also[edit]


  • "quarter" at Merriam-Webster
  • "quarter" in Harrap's Shorter, 2006, p. 761

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowing from French cartayer.


quarter (third-person singular simple present quarters, present participle quartering, simple past and past participle quartered)

  1. (obsolete) To drive a carriage so as to prevent the wheels from going into the ruts, or so that a rut shall be between the wheels.
    • (Can we date this quote?) De Quincey.:
      Every creature that met us would rely on us for quartering



From Latin quartus


quarter m (plural quarters)

  1. fourth



French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


From English


quarter m (plural quarters)

  1. quarter (old measure of corn)


Further reading[edit]

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


quarter m (oblique plural quarters, nominative singular quarters, nominative plural quarter)

  1. (chiefly Anglo-Norman) quarter (one fourth)