[ kwawr-ter-ouuhr, -ou-er ]

  1. a period of 15 minutes.

  2. a point 15 minutes after or before the hour.

Origin of quarter-hour

First recorded in 1880–85

Words Nearby quarter-hour

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use quarter-hour in a sentence

  • Here were two new griefs hurling themselves in over the wires all in the same quarter-hour, besides the one I had up my sleeve.

    The Wreckers | Francis Lynde
  • Something tender came into their tones as quarter-hour after quarter-hour went on, and they forgot the lapse of time.

    The Well-Beloved | Thomas Hardy
  • But first she had to undergo a bad quarter-hour in the back-parlour.

    Joan Thursday | Louis Joseph Vance
  • A quarter-hour later the doctor had him safely tucked into his berth in the cabin, with whisky and lemon aboard him.

    Cursed | George Allan England
  • We have had a quarter-hour's ride when the gondola comes to rest before broad stone steps leading upward to a wide doorway.

British Dictionary definitions for quarter-hour


  1. a period of 15 minutes

  2. any of the points on the face of a timepiece that mark 15 minutes before or after the hour, and sometimes 30 minutes after

Derived forms of quarter-hour

  • quarter-hourly, adverb, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012