quar·​tile ˈkwȯr-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce quartile (audio)
: any of the three values that divide the items of a frequency distribution into four classes with each containing one fourth of the total population
also : any one of the four classes

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A quartile is a quarter of a specific group that has been tested or evaluated in specific ways. The first quartile is the one that scores highest and the fourth quartile scores lowest. For achievement and proficiency tests, the first quartile is the place to be; for blood pressure or cholesterol, the third quartile is healthier.

Examples of quartile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the initial round of funding announced in June, grants were awarded to 60 individual artists to develop public awareness campaigns in collaboration with communities residing in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index in San Diego and Imperial counties. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2023 The same researchers found that companies that move from the bottom quartile to the top quartile in employee experience can increase their revenue by more than 50%. Blake Morgan, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 Women in the top quartile of DASH-like eating ultimately had the lowest number of subjective cognitive complaints. Sarah Garone, Health, 28 Oct. 2023 In fact, a Spencer Stuart report, released in July, found that just 8% of CFOs-turned-CEOs took their companies to the top quartile of performance. Chris Morris, Fortune, 13 Feb. 2023 While low-wage workers are projected to move around, those in the highest wage quartile could experience an increase of jobs by 3.8 million, according to McKinsey. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 1 Aug. 2023 Reed College’s standing plunged for a year — from the second quartile to the fourth — after its 1995 decision to stop cooperating with the rankings. Alan Blinder, New York Times, 17 Sep. 2023 Already in 2019, analysis by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. Grace Lordan, Fortune, 29 Aug. 2023 Its analysis showed that in 2019 companies in the top quartile in terms of ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more likely to report above-average profits than those at the bottom, slightly better than in 2014. Rita Men, The Conversation, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quartile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary, from Latin quartus

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quartile was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near quartile

Cite this Entry

“Quartile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quartile. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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