Definition of quarter in English:

quarter

Line breaks: quar|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈkwɔːtə
 
/

noun

1Each of four equal or corresponding parts into which something is or can be divided: she cut each apple into quarters a page and a quarter a quarter of a mile
More example sentences
  • The simple drawing represents a stage divided into four quarters.
  • The Commonwealth Bank owns four and a quarter percent of Woodside, that's $385 million worth of shares.
  • The iliac crest is divided into four quarters, and the excursion or stage of maturity is designated as the amount of progression.
1.1A period of three months regarded as one fourth of a year, used especially in reference to financial transactions such as the payment of bills or a company’s earnings: the first quarter of the fiscal year
More example sentences
  • Woolies reveals its sales figures later this month for the fourth quarter and the financial year and annual earnings on August 23.
  • Priest urged investors to keep in mind that the restatements will not have an adverse impact on earnings in the latest quarter or on future financial results.
  • It then restated its fourth quarter financial results in February, sparking a number of class action lawsuits.
1.2A period of fifteen minutes or a point of time marking the transition from one fifteen-minute period to the next: he sat with his pint until a quarter past nine
More example sentences
  • Around quarter to ten, fifteen minutes before the ball began and I was to make my grand entrance, the servants finally allowed me a glance in the mirror.
  • It's a quarter past ten AM, fifteen minutes after opening, when the two men rush through the door wearing ski masks.
  • You'd tell them, ‘Okay, we are on the bus at six tomorrow morning’, but we wouldn't be able to leave until a quarter to seven.
1.3A coin representing 25 cents, a quarter of a US or Canadian dollar.
More example sentences
  • He dropped sixty-one cents (two quarters, a dime, and a penny) into the cup by the one-legged Vietnam vet.
  • She began digging through her cracked plastic coin purse, slapping quarters and dimes on the counter.
  • Collect enough nickels and dimes and quarters and dollars, and you can make billions.
1.4Each of the four parts into which an animal’s or bird’s carcass may be divided, each including a leg or wing.
More example sentences
  • Boxed beef - precut quarters of the animal that are sliced further into steaks by grocers - would be the company's staple.
  • The discovery was made on Tuesday in four out of 236 quarters of beef being unloaded at the company ADM in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
  • Grilling chicken quarters can be a challenge since dark meat takes longer to cook than light meat.
1.5One fourth of a lunar month.
More example sentences
  • About a week after new moon, the moon reaches first quarter and appears high in the southern sky at sunset.
  • In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the moonlight is strong, creating strong leaf growth.
  • The external stimulus provides the impetus to move forth from the inspirational quarter of the lunar cycle into the action quarter.
1.6(In basketball, American football, and Australian Rules) each of four equal periods into which a game is divided: there were four scores in the opening quarter
More example sentences
  • A previous study showed that injuries occurred predominantly in the second and third quarters in Australian Rules football.
  • Seven of Schauffler's eight saves came in the opening quarter of the game.
  • Probably the best thing that's happened to Australian soccer took place during the third quarter of the AFL game between Brisbane and Saint Kilda.
1.7chiefly US One of four terms into which a school or university year may be divided.
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, most textbooks are written with semester schedules, not 10-week quarters, in mind.
  • The first quarter GPA should be an even better early indicator of college success in terms of retention and graduation.
  • As the quarter progressed, students began to take responsibility for their own successes and failures.
2One fourth of a pound weight (avoirdupois, equal to 4 ounces).
More example sentences
  • It can be made in different sizes to contain a fraction of an ounce to a quarter pound or more of liquid, gel, or cream.
  • The weight should be no more than a quarter pound.
  • Forget that the burger is no where near a quarter of a pound.
2.1One fourth of a hundredweight (British 28 lb or US 25lb).
More example sentences
  • They were tiny guns by Navy standards, the least of the so-called great guns, about four and a half feet long and weighing seven and a quarter hundredweight apiece.
  • The average price of wheat had remained relatively stable during the first half of the century averaging 34s.11d per quarter-hundredweight for the period 1713-1764, but between 1765 and 1800 it rose to 55s. per quarter-hundredweight, reaching a peak of 128s. per quarter-hundredweight in 1800
2.2British A grain measure equivalent to 8 bushels.
More example sentences
  • When a quarter of wheat was sold for three shillings, or three shillings and four-pence, and a quarter of barley for twenty pence or twenty-four pence, and a quarter of oats for fifteen pence, brewers in cities could afford to sell two gallons of ale for a penny, and out of cities three gallons for a penny.
  • 10 quarter of rye are to be paid by the occupiers of Pebworth Farm and Beech Farm to 10 poor families of Hurley.
  • Calais alone received 26000 quarters of grain and 2000 head of cattle in the fourteen years between 1347 and 1361.
3 (quarters) The haunches or hindquarters of a horse: they have strong, muscular quarters
More example sentences
  • One of the lads began beating the horses on their quarters with a riding crop to get them into the water, despite the fact that both horses were terrified.
  • Horses are naturally more crooked in canter, they will nearly always canter with their quarters in.
  • The heels are trimmed flat and the hoof wall at the toe and quarters is then lowered as necessary using a rasp placed at a 90° angle just in front of the white line.
4A part of a town or city having a particular character or use: a beautiful port city with a fascinating medieval quarter
More example sentences
  • The city has a medieval quarter, great pubs, and an annual opera festival of international importance.
  • A new bridge will provide a pedestrian and cycle link from the old town museum quarter and city centre shops.
  • Built on the River Tagus, the medieval quarters of the city are characterised by small houses and narrow streets.
Synonyms
5The direction of one of the points of the compass, especially as a direction from which the wind blows.
More example sentences
  • The weather was perfect, the course firm and the wind blowing from the quarter best suited to setting golfers the fiercest possible test on the inward nine holes.
  • It makes us think of things that happened when the sky was just so; when the wind blew from the same quarter and when the sun hit the side of the house just like now.
5.1A particular but unspecified person, group of people, or area: we have just had help from an unexpected quarter
More example sentences
  • But criticism yesterday also came from an unexpected quarter - an established ally.
  • The U.N. Secretary General is facing a barrage of criticism tonight from an unexpected quarter: his own staff.
  • As for the United Iraqi Alliance's number of seats in parliament, they might be bolstered from an unexpected quarter.
Synonyms
source, direction, place, point, spot, location; person
5.2Either side of a ship aft of the beam: he trained his glasses over the starboard quarter
More example sentences
  • Heinkel bombers from Crete flew to the merchant anchorages at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez and dropped a single bomb on her starboard quarter, ripping a huge vertical gash in her side.
  • We beat the Navy on that in the sense that we saw cruise missile flashes from a guided missile cruiser off to our starboard quarter in the distance at night.
  • True to his promise, the eagle rays are gently flapping and wheeling in the current off the starboard quarter, frustratingly staying just too far away to photograph.
6 (quarters) Rooms or lodgings, especially those allocated to people in military or domestic service: they lived in RAF married quarters
More example sentences
  • The estate boasted its own stables, lake and separate quarters for domestic staff.
  • Brick chimneys became a familiar feature, which signified the arrival of the kitchen and service quarters within the main house, into either a wing or a semi-basement.
  • He also required large domestic quarters with gardens for himself and his family as well as administrative accommodation.
Synonyms
accommodation, lodgings, rooms, chambers, place of residence, home, shelter; Frenchpied-à-terre
British informal digs
informal , dated pad, billet
7 [mass noun] Pity or mercy shown towards an enemy or opponent who is in one’s power: the riot squad gave no quarter
More example sentences
  • They learned to take no prisoners in fighting a skilled and fanatical enemy who gave no quarter and expected none.
  • Aeron took no prisoners and gave no quarter - his enemies perished at his blade.
  • Paolo Di Canio, meanwhile, gave no quarter, tackling ferociously, harrying opponents and delivering a fierce long-range drive just over the bar.
Synonyms
8 Heraldry Each of four or more roughly equal divisions of a shield separated by vertical and horizontal lines.
More example sentences
  • In the first quarter is shown the crutched cross from the arms of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, a religious order instituted in the beginning of the twelfth century, who owned the greater part of Islington.
8.1A square charge which covers the top left (dexter chief) quarter of the field.
More example sentences
  • The Quarter, also referred to as the franc-quartier, generally occupies 1/4 of the shield and is formed by two straight lines drawn in the direction of the Fesse, and the Pale meeting at the Fesse point.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Divide into four equal or corresponding parts: peel and quarter the bananas
More example sentences
  • I crept into the kitchen where I buttered a slice of bread, peeled and quartered a pear, and cut a wedge of decadent Irish cheese.
  • Place 2 peeled quartered onions in 1 tbsp oil with 1 tsp butter, 1 tbsp small sage leaves and 1 tsp lemon zest.
  • In bottom of a deep roasting pan, place two quartered onions, four celery stalks, the carrots, bay leaves and white wine.
1.1 historical Cut (the body of an executed person) into four parts: the plotters were hanged, drawn, and quartered
More example sentences
  • Guy Fawkes and his associates were hung, drawn and quartered in London.
  • His body was drawn and quartered and sent to all four quarters of the kingdom as a warning.
  • Edward Marcus Despard was the last person in Britain sentenced to be publicly hanged, drawn and quartered.
1.2Cut (a log) into quarters, and these into planks so as to show the grain well.
More example sentences
  • In quartersawing, lumber is produced by first quartering the log and then sawing perpendicular to the growth rings.
  • As you are halving it, you introduce the following wedge to free up the starting wedge, which you then use to begin quartering the log while keeping the halves yet relatively intact, for stability.
  • For instance, I see before me as I write a table of oak, on which is stamped by machinery a design intended to make the buyer suppose that the table is quartered oak.
2 (be quartered) [with adverbial of place] Be stationed or lodged in a specified place: many were quartered in tents
More example sentences
  • I was further shocked to find nine other boys quartered there.
  • Two companies of auxiliaries were stationed in the capital: F Company was quartered in Dublin Castle; and the Division's Depot Company was at Beggars Bush Barracks, in Ballybough.
  • In the relief camp, the women were quartered separately.
Synonyms
accommodate, house, board, lodge, give accommodation to, provide with accommodation, put up, take in, give a bed to, install, give a roof to, put a roof over someone's head, shelter
informal , dated billet
2.1 (quarter someone on) Impose someone on (another person) as a lodger: you would have had her quartered on you forever
More example sentences
  • On the evening of his third day in London, Phelps, returning by way of Chancery Lane from Bloomsbury to the Inner Temple, where he was quartered on a friend, encountered Mr. Lane, who in the wintry twilight passed him without recognition.
3Range over or traverse (an area) in every direction: we watched a pair of kingfishers quartering the river looking for minnows
More example sentences
  • They were quartering the area, methodically searching the rugged terrain.
  • As we enjoyed watching hundreds of them flying in to a stubble field to rest and doze in the midday sun, my wife spotted a ring-tail hen harrier quartering a beet field yet to be harvested.
  • Four companies have divided the work among them, quartering the site.
Synonyms
patrol, range over, tour, reconnoitre, traverse, survey, inspect, spy out, scout
British informal recce
3.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move at an angle; go in a diagonal or zigzag direction: his young dog quartered back and forth in quick turns
More example sentences
  • It depicts a massive Cape buffalo quartering through low scrub and staring at the viewer.
4 Heraldry Display (different coats of arms) in quarters of a shield, especially to show arms inherited from heiresses who have married into the bearer’s family: Edward III quartered the French royal arms with his own
More example sentences
  • The royal standard remained unchanged until the union of the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603, when James I and VI quartered the English / French flag with that of Scotland and the gold harp of Ireland.
  • Prince Philip was granted arms by George VI, which quartered the arms of Greece, Denmark, Mountbatten and Edinburgh.
4.1Divide (a shield) into four or more parts by vertical and horizontal lines.
More example sentences
  • The shield was quartered, and, since France was the senior kingdom, the French arms took precedence in the first (top left) and fourth (bottom right) quarters.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French quartier, from Latin quartarius 'fourth part of a measure', from quartus 'fourth', from quattuor 'four'.

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Pronunciation: ˈflipənt
adjective
not showing a serious or respectful attitude