quar·​tile | \ ˈkwȯr-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce quartile (audio) , -tᵊl\

Definition of quartile

: 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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Did You Know?

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

The left-hand chart shows the percentage of US managers in the top quartile (best performing 25%) of 2014 that repeated the feat in succeeding years. The Economist, "Troubles at the Woodford investment group point to a wider trend," 6 June 2019 The best funds make returns in the top 25% of their group, also called the top quartile. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "When Past Performance Actually Is a Guide to Future Results," 18 June 2018 Scores for the top quartile rose slightly in eighth-grade reading and math. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "National math and reading scores remain constant, but disparities emerge," 10 Apr. 2018 Its largest fund has consistently been in the top quartile of comparable funds formed the same year, measured by annualized returns after fees, according to data provider Preqin. James Freeman, WSJ, "The Red State Business Model," 11 July 2018 The remaining gap, according to the BBC’s analysis, resulted from structural issues, with too few women in senior leadership roles and more women than men in the work force’s lowest quartile. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "BBC Closes Gender Pay Gap, but Men Are Still Its 12 Highest-Paid Stars," 11 July 2018 The upper quartile waiver allows the community to exceed low- and moderate-income household limits. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "Galveston County to seek additional Harvey aid, waiver for HUD requirements," 23 Apr. 2018 So far more than 9,000 have reported the mean and median difference in average hourly wages, bonuses and what percentage of each pay quartile is female. Lucy Meakin, Bloomberg.com, "U.K.’s Ruling Conservative Party Says It Pays Women More," 4 Apr. 2018 That sent DTE Energy down to the bottom 25%, or fourth quartile, in rankings for the duration of its outages. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "History of power outages riles metro Detroiters, DTE promises fixes," 28 June 2018

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

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quartile

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Latin quartus

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Statistics for quartile

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for quartile

The first known use of quartile was in 1879

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Financial Definition of quartile

What It Is

A quartile is one of four equal parts.

How It Works

For example, if we were to look at all of the closing prices for Company XYZ stock for every day in the last year, the top 25% of those prices would represent the upper quartile of the data. The bottom 25% of those prices would represent the lower quartile of the data. There would be two quartiles in between the upper and lower quartiles. The average of all the stock prices typically falls right in the middle, between the second and third quartiles.

Why It Matters

Quartiles are crucial for studying economic data, income data, stock data and virtually any other kind of financial information. By breaking things into quartiles, an analyst can make a variety of inferences about the data and how the observed item behaves.

Source: Investing Answers

More from Merriam-Webster on quartile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quartile

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quartile

Comments on quartile

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to take the place or position of

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