quar·​ter | \ˈkwȯ(r)-tər also ˈkȯ(r)- \

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

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

1 : lodge, dwell

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


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.


The hunters quartered the deer. We were quartered in log cabins at the camp.


a quarter acre of land They live less than a quarter mile from us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The future may well favor firms like Estimize, which brings together more than 80,000 professional and amateur analysts, who generate approximately 220,000 earnings estimates per quarter on more than 2,100 companies. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Upside Earnings Surprises Have a Downside," 16 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, investors have urged Uber to sell off its self-driving car unit, which has lost between $125 million and $200 million per quarter over the last 18 months. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Should Uber sell off its self-driving car unit?," 16 Aug. 2018 Twitch has an average of almost a million people streaming its content per quarter and sells advertising to hard-to-reach young men. NBC News, "Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the advertising industry looking over its shoulder," 5 July 2018 And even if Tesla is able to sustain a Model 3 production rate of 5,000 units a week in the second half of 2018, that only translates to 65,000 units per quarter. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla opens orders to all US and Canadian Model 3 reservation holders," 29 June 2018 CoreCivic, which spent an average of $210,000 per quarter in 2017, plans to keep spending at roughly the same rate this year, Owen said. Fortune, "Prison Operators Could Cash In on ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy," 28 June 2018 The company recently announced that its cloud business has grown to a healthy $1 billion per quarter, with more growth projected. The Editorial Board, BostonGlobe.com, "The case for breaking up Google," 14 June 2018 One day per quarter employees are encouraged to volunteer with the charity of their choice on behalf of BBB. azcentral, "Top Companies to Work for in Arizona-Small Companies," 7 June 2018 The city had been charging groups like Fit4Mom seeking private commercial use of public recreational property a flat fee of $78 per quarter for a permit, or $312 per year. Karen Pearlman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fee hikes for park users in La Mesa have moms fit to be tied," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the case of eggs, these hens usually are quartered into tight quarters. Vikki Ortiz, chicagotribune.com, "Animal activist brings vegan pop-up dinner to a meat-and-potatoes city," 20 June 2018 Here the caravans from the Negev, Gaza and Askalon, from Jerusalem and the Phoenician coast, would arrive and settle for a while to engage in trade, their camels and donkeys quartered in the broad acres near the cistern. Jim Berkeley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Jordan," 5 Oct. 2016 Under the provision, hunters could still quarter the deer within the county it was harvested or bone it out and then take the meat anywhere in the state, but no portion of the spinal cord could be attached or moved. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gov. Walker outlines tougher CWD measures," 2 May 2018 From 1758, British troops were quartered there during the French and Indian War, sleeping at least two to a bed. Julie Besonen, New York Times, "Art, Punk Rock and a New Governor Reinvigorate Trenton," 5 Apr. 2018 Witness how fractions work firsthand by quartering ingredients like peppers and apples. chicagotribune.com, "Ways to make math part of your kids’ daily lives," 19 Apr. 2018 The Pope is also the chief executive of a kind of government, the head official of the Holy See, which is quartered in the 110-acre confines of Vatican City in Rome. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Pope Who Would Be King' details the birth of the modern papacy," 17 Apr. 2018 Scoop: Follow the same method for slicing, only don't quarter the avocado. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Get ready for the Super Bowl with this guacamole recipe," 4 Feb. 2018 Reliable reports document that both sides have quartered troops in or fired from hospitals, blurring the line between combatant and noncombatant. Cynthia Buckley, Washington Post, "The war in Ukraine is more devastating than you know," 9 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Joanna is half Korean, a quarter Lebanese, and another quarter German. Rebecca Shinners, Country Living, "25 Things You Didn't Know About Chip and Joanna Gaines," 22 Aug. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW The firm, which provides land contract drilling and production services to oil companies, reported first quarter financial results before the market opened. Jennifer Hiller, San Antonio Express-News, "Pioneer Energy Services narrows 1Q loss, beats revenue expectations," 2 May 2018 Amazon reported first quarter earnings results today with eye-popping sales of $51 billion, up by nearly 43 percent year over year, and a net profit of $1.6 billion. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Amazon is wildly profitable but it’s still taking huge losses overseas," 26 Apr. 2018 The couple moved to Jerry's hometown of Wichita and welcomed three daughters, including Joanna, who are each half Korean, a quarter Lebanese, and another quarter German. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "How Joanna Gaines's Heritage Shaped the Person She Is Today," 21 May 2018 Earlier this month, Tesla reported first quarter earnings that included a record loss, but still managed to beat Wall Street expectations. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "4 Reasons Why Morgan Stanley Slashed Tesla's Price Target By 23%," 15 May 2018 NuStar GP Holdings reported first quarter income of $12 million, or 28 cents a unit, compared to income of $17 million, or 39 cents a unit, in 2017. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio’s NuStar Energy income skyrockets on hurricane insurance money," 26 Apr. 2018 First quarter earnings per share were 91 cents, 2 cents higher than what analysts anticipated. Kyle Arnold, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Tupperware sales 'soft' in first quarter, income down," 25 Apr. 2018 Google parent company Alphabet reported first quarter earnings for 2018 today, beating Wall Street estimates on sales and profit thanks in large part to its mammoth search advertising machine that continues to grow year after year. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Google is bleeding cash trying to take on Amazon in the smart home," 23 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for quarter

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for quarter

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

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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



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 \

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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quarter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quarter

Spanish Central: Translation of quarter

Nglish: Translation of quarter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quarter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on quarter

What made you want to look up quarter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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