[kwawr-tahyl, -til]


Statistics. (in a frequency distribution) one of the values of a variable that divides the distribution of the variable into four groups having equal frequencies.Compare first quartile, median, third quartile.
Astrology. a quartile aspect.


Astrology. of or relating to the aspect of two heavenly bodies when their longitudes differ by 90°.

Origin of quartile

1500–10; < Medieval Latin quartīlis, equivalent to Latin quart(us) fourth + -īlis -ile
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British Dictionary definitions for quartile



statistics one of three actual or notional values of a variable dividing its distribution into four groups with equal frequencies


statistics denoting or relating to a quartile
astrology denoting an aspect of two heavenly bodies when their longitudes differ by 90°
a quarter part of a distribution

Word Origin for quartile

C16: from Medieval Latin quartīlis, from Latin 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 quartile

c.1500, originally in astronomy; see quartile (adj.). In statistics, from 1879.


mid-15c., "90 degrees apart" (of astronomical measurements), from Middle French quartil, from Medieval Latin quartilus "of a quartile," from Latin quartus "fourth" (see quart).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper