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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Day after day, for at least a fortnight (from the 2d to the 15th of July), he remained there.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • From that day for nearly a fortnight there were busy doings in the house.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • After this he must go in three times a week for a fortnight longer.

    Remarks Bill Nye
  • They were to go to Dublin for a week, and then up to Ballyards for a fortnight.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • It was not yet a fortnight since he had arrived in England; but time has different values, as Jean had discovered for herself.

    A Question of Marriage Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
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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