See more synonyms for quarterly on Thesaurus.com
  1. occurring, done, paid, issued, etc., at the end of every quarter of a year: a quarterly report; quarterly interest.
  2. pertaining to or consisting of a quarter.
noun, plural quar·ter·lies.
  1. a periodical issued every three months.
  1. by quarters; once each quarter of a year: The bank pays interest quarterly.
  2. Heraldry.
    1. with division into four quarters.
    2. in the four quarters of an escutcheon.

Origin of quarterly

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at quarter, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for quarterly


  1. occurring, done, paid, etc, at intervals of three months
  2. of, relating to, or consisting of a quarter
noun plural -lies
  1. a periodical issued every three months
  1. once every three months
  2. heraldry into or in quartersa shield divided quarterly
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

Word Origin and History for quarterly

early 15c., from quarter (n.) + -ly (2). As an adjective from 1560s, from -ly (1). As a noun, from 1830, "a quarterly publication," from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper