Why was clemency trending last week?


[fawrt-nahyt, -nit] /ˈfɔrtˌnaɪt, -nɪt/
the space of fourteen nights and days; two weeks.
Origin of fortnight
before 1000; Middle English fourtenight, contraction of Old English fēowertēne niht. See fourteen, night Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fortnight
  • Every fortnight an elder dies and carries with him or her into the grave the last syllables of an ancient tongue.
  • Year after year hopefuls declare some outrageous plan to lose a thigh, and usually give it up in about a fortnight.
  • Within the fortnight, a screaming three-day blizzard would sweep the canyon country.
  • For on average every fortnight a leader dies and carries with him or her into the grave the last syllables of an ancient tongue.
  • Suppose there are blizzards that have everyone in a state running heaters and pulling peak load for a fortnight.
  • Within a fortnight she has won her first game, within a couple of months she is winning regularly.
  • However, the environment this week is notably worse than it was a fortnight ago.
  • So, after a fortnight of sometimes constructive discussion, on the eve of the last day a new version was put to the conference.
  • Yet a fortnight later the country seems on the verge of political deadlock.
  • What ensued during the following fortnight was part high drama, part vaudeville show.
British Dictionary definitions for fortnight


a period of 14 consecutive days; two weeks
Word Origin
Old English fēowertīene niht fourteen nights
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
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Word Origin and History for fortnight

17c. contraction of Middle English fourteniht, from Old English feowertyne niht, literally "fourteen nights," preserving the ancient Germanic custom of reckoning by nights, mentioned by Tacitus in "Germania" xi. Related: Fortnightly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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