quad·​rant | \ˈkwä-drənt \

Definition of quadrant 

1a : an instrument for measuring altitudes consisting commonly of a graduated arc of 90 degrees with an index or vernier and usually having a plumb line or spirit level for fixing the vertical or horizontal direction

b : a device or mechanical part shaped like or suggestive of the quadrant of a circle

2a : an arc of 90 degrees that is one quarter of a circle

b : the area bounded by a quadrant and two radii

3a : any of the four parts into which a plane is divided by rectangular coordinate axes lying in that plane

b : any of the four quarters into which something is divided by two real or imaginary lines that intersect each other at right angles

Illustration of quadrant

Illustration of quadrant

quadrant 2

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Other Words from quadrant

quadrantal \ kwä-​ˈdran-​tᵊl \ adjective

Did You Know?

This word is used for a traditional instrument, used to make calculations of altitude and traditionally employed by sailors to navigate, which has a piece shaped like a quarter of a circle. A quadrant shower is a shower that fits snugly into a bathroom corner and displays a curved front, making a quadrant shape on the floor. But perhaps quadrant is used most often today to name a particular quarter of a city.

Examples of quadrant in a Sentence

Draw two intersecting lines that divide the page into four quadrants. The town is located in the northwest quadrant of the state.

Recent Examples on the Web

Brockhouse has questioned whether Hardberger is the best person to protect the southwest quadrant, which includes part of his district. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Council firestorm erupts over SAWS appointee," 8 Mar. 2018 The Itasca stood by three hours longer, keeping radio channels open for further contact, then charged at full speed into the northwest quadrant. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 3, 1937: Planes search for Amelia Earhart," 3 July 2018 John Calipari’s team still does not have a loss outside the top two quadrants of the NCAA selection committee’s resume breakdown. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "UK basketball just lost its fourth straight. Is it time to panic about NCAA Tournament?," 14 Feb. 2018 Leesburg police also got reports of people claiming to be Ku Klux Klan members distributing fliers in the northeast quadrant of town. Allison Klein, Washington Post, "KKK propaganda fliers found in Loudoun County," 14 Jan. 2018 For all the effort companies put into crafting their strategies, hiring fancy-pants management consultants, and imagining their place in magic quadrants, sometimes a combination of luck and listening to customers is more important. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Celebrating Apple's Lucrative Switcheroo," 11 July 2018 Even Thursday’s loss to Belgium was fortuitous: by finishing second in its group behind Belgium, England avoided Brazil, five-time World Cup champ and home to superstar Neymar Jr., in its quadrant. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 16 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Knockout Stage," 29 June 2018 Restaurants featuring fare from around the world give this quadrant of the West Ridge neighborhood plenty of culinary flair. Griffin Jackson, chicagotribune.com, "The most diverse street in America? Find color, culture, connectedness on Devon Avenue," 28 June 2018 Stop by the Northwest quadrant for yoga with JanMarie Connor and Joshua Pollack from Heartfulness Indy. Megan Henry, Indianapolis Star, "The summer solstice is June 21 and here's how to celebrate Indy style," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quadrant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quadrant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for quadrant

Middle English, from Latin quadrant-, quadrans fourth part; akin to Latin quattuor four — more at four

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Statistics for quadrant

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for quadrant

The first known use of quadrant was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for quadrant



English Language Learners Definition of quadrant

: one part of something that is evenly divided into four parts; especially geometry : one part of a circle that is evenly divided into four parts


quad·​rant | \ˈkwä-drənt\

Kids Definition of quadrant

1 : one-fourth of a circle

2 : any of the four parts into which something is divided by two imaginary or real lines that intersect each other at right angles


quad·​rant | \ˈkwäd-rənt \

Medical Definition of quadrant 

1 : an arc of 90° that is one quarter of a circle

2 : any of the four more or less equivalent segments into which an anatomic structure may be divided by vertical and horizontal partitioning through its midpoint pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen

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More from Merriam-Webster on quadrant

Spanish Central: Translation of quadrant

Nglish: Translation of quadrant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quadrant

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