Nearby words

  1. quart minor,
  2. quart.,
  3. quartan,
  4. quartan malaria,
  5. quarte,
  6. quarter bar,
  7. quarter bend,
  8. quarter binding,
  9. quarter blanket,
  10. quarter crack

Origin of quarter

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French quartier < Latin quartārius, equivalent to quart(us) fourth + -ārius -ary; (v.) Middle English quarteren, derivative of the noun

Related formsquar·ter·er, nounhalf-quar·ter, adjectivein·ter·quar·ter, nounout·quar·ters, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quarters

British Dictionary definitions for quarters


pl n

housing or accommodation, esp as provided for military personnel and their families
the stations assigned to military personnel, esp to each crew member of a warshipgeneral quarters
(in India) housing provided by an employer or by the government
(functioning as singular) military slang short for quartermaster



one of four equal or nearly equal parts of an object, quantity, amount, etc
Also called: fourth the fraction equal to one divided by four (1/4)
US and Canadian a quarter of a dollar; 25-cent piece
a unit of weight equal to a quarter of a hundredweight. 1 US quarter is equal to 25 pounds; 1 Brit quarter is equal to 28 pounds
short for quarter-hour
a fourth part of a year; three months
  1. one fourth of the moon's period of revolution around the earth
  2. either of two phases of the moon, first quarter or last quarter when half of the lighted surface is visible from the earth
informal a unit of weight equal to a quarter of a pound or 4 ounces
British a unit of capacity for grain, etc, usually equal to 8 UK bushels
sport one of the four periods into which certain games are divided
nautical the part of a vessel's side towards the stern, usually aft of the aftermost mastthe port quarter
nautical the general direction along the water in the quadrant between the beam of a vessel and its sternthe wind was from the port quarter
a region or district of a town or citythe Spanish quarter
a region, direction, or point of the compass
(sometimes plural) an unspecified person or group of peopleto get word from the highest quarter
mercy or pity, as shown to a defeated opponent (esp in the phrases ask for or give quarter)
any of the four limbs, including the adjacent parts, of the carcass of a quadruped or birda hind quarter of beef
vet science the side part of the wall of a horse's hoof
the part of a shoe or boot covering the heel and joining the vamp
heraldry one of four more or less equal quadrants into which a shield may be divided
military slang short for quartermaster


(tr) to divide into four equal or nearly equal parts
(tr) to divide into any number of parts
(tr) (esp formerly) to dismember (a human body)to be drawn and quartered
to billet or be billeted in lodgings, esp (of military personnel) in civilian lodgings
(intr) (of gun dogs or hounds) to range over an area of ground in search of game or the scent of quarry
(intr) nautical (of the wind) to blow onto a vessel's quarterthe wind began to quarter
(tr) heraldry
  1. to divide (a shield) into four separate bearings with a cross
  2. to place (one set of arms) in diagonally opposite quarters to another


being or consisting of one of four equal partsa quarter pound of butter
See also quarters

Word Origin for quarter

C13: from Old French quartier, from Latin quartārius a fourth part, from quartus fourth

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 quarters
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with quarters


see at close quarters; draw and quarter.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.