Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: quartier, from Latin quartarius, from quartus 'fourth'


1 noun
quar‧ter1 S1 W2 [countable]


one of four equal parts into which something can be divided [↪ half, third]
a/one quarter (of something)
a quarter of a mile
roughly one quarter of the city's population
It's about a page and a quarter.
three quarters (of something) (=75%)
three quarters of a million pounds
the first/second etc quarter
in the last quarter of the 19th century
Cut the cake into quarters.
! Say a quarter of something, not 'quarter of' something.

part of an hour

TMCTMC a period of 15 minutes:
I'll meet you in a quarter of an hour.
She arrived three quarters of an hour (=45 minutes) late.
(a) quarter to (something) also (a) quarter of (something) American English (=15 minutes before the hour)
It's a quarter of two.
(a) quarter past (something) British English also (a) quarter after (something) American English (=15 minutes after the hour)
I'll meet you at a quarter past ten.


PEC a coin used in the US and Canada worth 25 cents

three months

BTMC a period of three months, used especially when discussing business and financial matters
the first/second/third/fourth quarter
The company's profits rose by 11% in the first quarter of the year.
Our database is updated every quarter.
quarterly (1)


one of the four equal periods of time into which games of some sports are divided
the first/second/third/fourth quarter
The home side took the lead in the second quarter.

part of a city

[usually singular] an area of a town:
I found a small flat in the student quarter.
Granada's ancient Arab quarter
a historic quarter of the city



[plural]DHPM the rooms that are given to someone to live in as part of their job, especially servants or soldiers:
The top floor provided living quarters for the kitchen staff.
Most of the officers live in married quarters (=houses where soldiers live with their wives).


American EnglishSEC one of the four periods into which a year at school or college is divided, continuing for 10 to 12 weeks [↪ semester]:
What classes are you taking this quarter?


HATMC the period of time twice a month when you can see a quarter of the moon's surface

in/from ... quarters

among or from different groups of people:
Offers of financial help came from several quarters.
Doubts were expressed in many quarters.

all quarters of the Earth/globe

literary everywhere in the world

give/receive no quarter

literaryPM if someone gives no quarter, they do not show any pity or gentleness when dealing with someone, especially an enemy:
It was a fight to the death, with no quarter given.

➔ at close quarters

at close2 (20)

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