quar·​ter | \ ˈkwȯ(r)-tər How to pronounce quarter (audio) also ˈkȯ(r)- How to pronounce quarter (audio) \

Definition of quarter

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one of four equal parts into which something is divisible : a fourth part in the top quarter of his class
2 : any of various units of capacity or weight equal to or derived from one fourth of some larger unit
3 : any of various units of length or area equal to one fourth of some larger unit
4 : the fourth part of a measure of time: such as
a : one of a set of four 3-month divisions of a year business was up during the third quarter
b : a school term of about 12 weeks
c : quarter hour a quarter after three
5a : a coin worth a quarter of a dollar
b : the sum of 25 cents
6a : one limb of a quadruped with the adjacent parts especially : one fourth part of the carcass of a slaughtered animal including a leg
b quarters plural, chiefly British : hindquarter sense 2
7a : the region or direction lying under any of the four divisions of the horizon
b : one of the four parts into which the horizon is divided or the cardinal point corresponding to it
c : a compass point or direction other than the cardinal points
d(1) : an unspecified person or group financial help from many quartersCurrent Biography
(2) : a point, direction, or place not definitely identified the view to the rear quarterConsumer Reports The oft-repeated Roman story is written in still legible characters in every quarter [=all over] of the Old World …— Henry David Thoreau
8a : a division or district of a town or city he describes the immigrant quarter— Alfred Kazin
b : the inhabitants of such a quarter
9a : an assigned station or post
b quarters plural : an assembly of a ship's company for ceremony, drill, or emergency
c quarters plural : living accommodations : lodgings show you to your quarters
10 : merciful consideration of an opponent a team that gave no quarter during the championship game specifically : the clemency of not killing a defeated enemy
11a : a fourth part of the moon's period
b : a half-illuminated phase of the moon that occurs a quarter period after or before a new moon
12 : the side of a horse's hoof between the toe and the heel — see hoof illustration
13a : any of the four parts into which a heraldic field is divided
b : a bearing or charge occupying the first fourth part of a heraldic field
14 : the stern area of a ship's side
15 : one side of the upper of a shoe or boot from heel to vamp
16 : one of the four equal periods into which the playing time of some games is divided


quartered; quartering; quarters

Definition of quarter (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to cut or divide into four equal or nearly equal parts quarter an apple condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered
b archaic : divide
2 : to provide with lodging or shelter
3 : to crisscross (an area) in many directions
4a : to arrange or bear (different coats of arms) quarterly on one escutcheon
b : to add (a coat of arms) to others on one escutcheon
c : to divide (a shield) into distinct sections (as by stripes)

intransitive verb

2 : to crisscross a district
3 : to change from one quarter to another the moon quarters
4 : to strike on a ship's quarter the wind was quartering



Definition of quarter (Entry 3 of 3)

: consisting of or equal to a quarter

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Examples of quarter in a Sentence

Noun Cut the pie into quarters. an inch and a quarter a quarter of a cup of sugar He was three quarters of an hour early. Verb The hunters quartered the deer. We were quartered in log cabins at the camp. Adjective a quarter acre of land They live less than a quarter mile from us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fluor has delayed filing its 2019 year-end and first-quarter 2020 financial results during the investigations. Dallas News, "Fluor faces Justice Department subpoena over costs for Army project," 8 May 2020 Argo’s loss ratio, which assesses losses on claims to premiums earned, rose 8 percentage points to 64.6 percent in first quarter. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Coronavirus-related claims push specialty insurer Argo into the red," 8 May 2020 Although Tesla reported a profit in this year’s first quarter, analysts expect dismal results for the current quarter. Los Angeles Times, "It’s not safe to reopen Tesla factory, Alameda County tells Elon Musk," 8 May 2020 Walt Disney World, for instance, was closed for 17 days of the period; the vast resort could be closed for the entirety of the current quarter. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Disney Takes a Pandemic Hit, and There’s Worse to Come," 5 May 2020 The company's first quarter revenue was $159.5 million, a 6 percent drop from $170 million. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marcus Corp. posts $19.3 million first quarter loss as coronavirus pandemic closes its hotels and theaters," 5 May 2020 The Pacers had led the first game of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals by 9 points near the end of the third quarter. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Inside Madison Square Garden when Reggie Miller's 8 points in 8.9 seconds echoed round the world," 2 May 2020 Likewise, Amazon’s first quarter sales increased 26% to $75.5 billion, better than expected. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Working from home, online grocery shopping, cord cutting: What coronavirus trends will stick," 1 May 2020 That’s the biggest news in Wednesday’s initial estimate for first quarter economic growth, which shrank at a 4.8% annual rate. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Government Economy," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And how the Vision Fund and SoftBank make their money — quarter in and quarter out — is heavily dependent on how much Son thinks his stable of more than 80 companies is worth. Tim Culpan | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Masa Son Desperately Needs That Second $100 Billion," 6 Nov. 2019 But in Tudor England, bloody punishments were the norm, with execution methods ranging from beheading to boiling; burning at the stake; and being hung, drawn and quartered. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’," 12 Mar. 2020 Mushroom Confit Makes about 6 cups Toss together in a colander placed in the sink or over a bowl: 2 pounds mushrooms, larger ones quartered, any tough stems removed 1 tablespoon salt Let sit for 1 hour. CBS News, "Recipe from "Joy of Cooking": Mushroom Confit," 7 Nov. 2019 Guy held up under torture for a few days but finally spilled all, and the conspirators were chased down, hanged, and drawn and quartered. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "The New Pronoun in Town," 5 Nov. 2019 Peel half the apples, then quarter all of them, cutting down through the poles. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: The happy accident of tarte Tatin," 16 Oct. 2019 Rake them into an even layer and lay a halved or quartered cabbage on top. Steven Raichlen, New York Times, "Coleslaw Kissed by Fire," 2 Aug. 2019 Takei’s mother clutched his baby sister as the family was forced to board a bus that took them to the Santa Anita racetrack, where they were quartered in stables reeking of horse manure. Los Angeles Times, "Review: George Takei’s ‘They Called Us Enemy’ shows injustice through a child’s eyes," 30 Aug. 2019 While barley cooks, halve carrots crosswise, then halve or quarter lengthwise to create uniformly sized pieces. Washington Post, "Chewy and nutty pearl barley stars in this hearty bowl dish," 10 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective First quarter earnings season is slated to kick off next week with the release of results from several banks. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Stocks rise as Bernie Sanders drops out of US presidential race," 8 Apr. 2020 Details could be revealed when the company releases first quarter earnings Tuesday. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford counts its cash amid pandemic after $70M exec pay exceeds company's profit in 2019," 27 Apr. 2020 First quarter earnings season is also still a few weeks out, and investors have to fly blind in terms of the financial impact on businesses. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Wall Street volatility is here to stay," 14 Mar. 2020 Davidson jumped out of his car, moved to the front quarter panel of the car and drew his Taser. oregonlive, "‘He just was crying for help’ -- How a Portland officer helped distraught man who was killed a month later by police," 4 Feb. 2020 Day time rain totals of up to a tenth or quarter inch are possible. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Potentially severe storms this evening before turning chilly Friday into the weekend," 31 Oct. 2019 The Street didn't get too much of a high from Aurora Cannabis' 4th quarter earnings late Wednesday, but the cannabis company is still reporting strong growth. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Pot Stock Aurora Posted a ‘Home Run Quarter’—But Investors Didn’t See it That Way," 12 Sep. 2019 The longtime justice spoke with Katherine Baicker, dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, before about 400 people, reflecting on her career as an attorney battling for women’s rights and her quarter century on the nation’s highest court. Jessica Villagomez, chicagotribune.com, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at University of Chicago: ‘She’s a historic role model for our judicial system’," 9 Sep. 2019 The most popular meals are a half or quarter chicken with fries and choice of sauce. Julia Thompson, USA TODAY, "Cooking over open flame: These are some of our favorite restaurants that use fire," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quarter.' 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 quarter


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quarter


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin quartarius, from quartus fourth

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Time Traveler for quarter

Time Traveler

The first known use of quarter was in the 14th century

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Statistics for quarter

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quarter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarter. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for quarter



Financial Definition of quarter

What It Is

A quarter is a three-month period. There are four in one fiscal year.

How It Works

In the finance world, quarter 1 usually spans January 1-March 31; quarter 2 usually spans April 1-June 30; quarter 3 usually spans July 1-September 30; and quarter 4 usually spans October 1-December 31. However, companies may have their own quarterly calendars.

Why It Matters

Quarters are the time periods around which much of the financial world revolves. Reports issued that cover the performance during a quarter (called quarterly reports) usually involve a set of financial statements. Public companies in the United States file these reports via Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q.

Quarterly reports help investors take the pulse of the companies they invest in. Comparing the quarterly information to the previous year's information for the same quarter can yield rich insight into how seasonal a company's business is, short-term  performance and growth rates in a variety of measures, and information to compare with  similar companies.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce quarter (audio) How to pronounce quarter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quarter

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one of four equal parts of something
: a unit of something (such as weight or length) that equals one fourth of some larger unit
: one of four divisions of an hour : a period of 15 minutes



English Language Learners Definition of quarter (Entry 2 of 3)

: to divide or separate (something) into four parts
: to provide (someone) with a place to stay for a usually short period of time : to provide living quarters for (someone)



English Language Learners Definition of quarter (Entry 3 of 3)

: equal or about nearly equal in size, value, amount, etc., to one fourth of something


quar·​ter | \ ˈkwȯr-tər How to pronounce quarter (audio) \

Kids Definition of quarter

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one of four equal parts into which something can be divided a quarter of an hour Cut the pie into quarters.
2 : a United States coin worth 25 cents
3 : someone or something (as a place, direction, or group) not clearly identified Complaints came from all quarters.
4 : a particular division or district of a city the city's historic quarter
5 quarters plural : a dwelling place living quarters
6 : mercy sense 1 The soldiers showed no quarter to the enemy.


quartered; quartering

Kids Definition of quarter (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to divide into four usually equal parts Peel and quarter an orange.
2 : to provide with lodgings or shelter We were quartered in log cabins.



Kids Definition of quarter (Entry 3 of 3)

: consisting of or equal to one fourth of Give it a quarter turn.

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quar·​ter | \ ˈkwȯ(r)t-ər How to pronounce quarter (audio) \

Medical Definition of quarter

1 : one limb of a quadruped with the adjacent parts
2 : one teat together with the part of a cow's udder that it drains
3 : the side of a horse's hoof between the toe and the heel

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More from Merriam-Webster on quarter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quarter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quarter

Spanish Central: Translation of quarter

Nglish: Translation of quarter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quarter for Arabic Speakers

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