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quarter

[kwawr-ter] /ˈkwɔr tər/
noun
1.
one of the four equal or equivalent parts into which anything is or may be divided:
a quarter of an apple; a quarter of a book.
2.
a fourth part, especially of one (¼).
3.
one fourth of a U.S. or Canadian dollar, equivalent to 25 cents.
4.
a coin of this value.
5.
one fourth of an hour:
He stayed there for an hour and a quarter.
6.
the moment marking this period:
The clock struck the quarter.
7.
one fourth of a calendar or fiscal year:
The bank sends out a statement each quarter.
8.
Astronomy.
  1. a fourth of the moon's period or monthly revolution, being that portion of its period or orbital course between a quadrature and a syzygy.
  2. either quadrature of the moon.
9.
(in schools, colleges, and universities) one of the terms or periods into which instruction is organized, generally 10 to 12 weeks in length.
10.
Sports. any of the four periods that make up certain games, as football and basketball.
Compare half (def 3).
11.
one fourth of a pound.
12.
one fourth of a mile; two furlongs.
13.
one fourth of a yard; 9 inches.
14.
a unit of weight: one fourth of a hundredweight. In the U.S. this equals 25 pounds and in Britain 28 pounds.
15.
British. a measure of capacity for grain, etc., equal to 8 bushels, or, locally, to approximately this.
16.
the region of any of the four principal points of the compass or divisions of the horizon.
17.
such a point or division.
18.
any point or direction of the compass:
The wind is blowing in that quarter.
19.
a region, district, or place.
20.
a particular district of a city or town, especially one generally occupied by a particular group of people:
the Turkish quarter; an artists' quarter.
21.
Usually, quarters.
  1. housing accommodations, as a place of residence; lodgings.
  2. Military. the buildings, houses, barracks, or rooms occupied by military personnel or their families.
22.
Often, quarters. an unspecified part or member of a community, government, etc., that serves as a source of information or authority:
He received secret information from a high quarter.
23.
mercy or indulgence, especially as shown in sparing the life and accepting the surrender of a vanquished enemy:
to give quarter; to ask for quarter.
24.
one of the four parts, each including a leg, of the body or carcass of a quadruped.
25.
Veterinary Medicine. the part of a horse's hoof between heel and toe.
26.
Shoemaking. the part of a boot or shoe on each side of the foot, from the middle of the back to the vamp.
27.
Nautical.
  1. the after part of a ship's side, usually from about the aftermost mast to the stern.
  2. the general horizontal direction 45° from the stern of a ship on either side:
    Another boat is coming near on the port quarter.
  3. one of the stations to which crew members are called for battle, emergencies, or drills.
  4. the part of a yard between the slings and the yardarm.
  5. quarter point.
28.
Heraldry.
  1. any of the four equal areas into which an escutcheon may be divided by a vertical and a horizontal line passing through the center.
  2. any of the variously numbered areas into which an escutcheon may be divided for the marshaling of different arms.
  3. any of the arms marshaled on an escutcheon.
  4. a charge occupying one quarter of an escutcheon, especially that in dexter chief.
    Compare canton (def 3).
29.
each half of a cask, consisting of the portion from the bilge to the top chime and the portion from the bilge to the bottom chime.
verb (used with object)
30.
to divide into four equal or equivalent parts.
31.
to divide into parts fewer or more than four:
Quarter the pie into six pieces.
32.
to cut the body of (a person) into quarters, especially in executing for treason or the like.
33.
Machinery. to make holes in, fix, etc., a quarter of a circle apart.
34.
to furnish with lodging in a particular place.
35.
to impose (soldiers) on persons, towns, etc., to be lodged and fed:
He quartered his men with the farmer.
36.
to assign to a particular place for service, action, etc., as on a battleship.
37.
to traverse (the ground) from left to right and right to left while advancing, as dogs in search of game.
38.
Heraldry.
  1. to divide (an escutcheon) into four or more parts.
  2. to place or bear quarterly (different coats of arms, etc.) on an escutcheon.
  3. to display (a coat of arms) with one's own on an escutcheon.
verb (used without object)
39.
to take up, or be in quarters; lodge:
to quarter in a cheap hotel.
40.
to range to and fro, as dogs in search of game.
41.
Nautical. to sail so as to have the wind or sea on the quarter.
adjective
42.
being one of four equal or approximately equal parts into which anything is or may be divided.
43.
being equal to only about one fourth of the full measure.
Origin
1250-1300
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 forms
quarterer, noun
half-quarter, adjective
interquarter, noun
outquarters, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for half quarter

quarter

/ˈkwɔːtə/
noun
1.
one of four equal or nearly equal parts of an object, quantity, amount, etc
2.
Also called fourth. the fraction equal to one divided by four (1/4)
3.
(US & Canadian) a quarter of a dollar; 25-cent piece
4.
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
5.
short for quarter-hour
6.
a fourth part of a year; three months
7.
(astronomy)
  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
8.
(informal) a unit of weight equal to a quarter of a pound or 4 ounces
9.
(Brit) a unit of capacity for grain, etc, usually equal to 8 UK bushels
10.
(sport) one of the four periods into which certain games are divided
11.
(nautical) the part of a vessel's side towards the stern, usually aft of the aftermost mast the port quarter
12.
(nautical) the general direction along the water in the quadrant between the beam of a vessel and its stern the wind was from the port quarter
13.
a region or district of a town or city the Spanish quarter
14.
a region, direction, or point of the compass
15.
(sometimes pl) an unspecified person or group of people to get word from the highest quarter
16.
mercy or pity, as shown to a defeated opponent (esp in the phrases ask for or give quarter)
17.
any of the four limbs, including the adjacent parts, of the carcass of a quadruped or bird a hind quarter of beef
18.
(vet science) the side part of the wall of a horse's hoof
19.
the part of a shoe or boot covering the heel and joining the vamp
20.
(heraldry) one of four more or less equal quadrants into which a shield may be divided
21.
(military, slang) short for quartermaster
verb
22.
(transitive) to divide into four equal or nearly equal parts
23.
(transitive) to divide into any number of parts
24.
(transitive) (esp formerly) to dismember (a human body) to be drawn and quartered
25.
to billet or be billeted in lodgings, esp (of military personnel) in civilian lodgings
26.
(intransitive) (of gun dogs or hounds) to range over an area of ground in search of game or the scent of quarry
27.
(intransitive) (nautical) (of the wind) to blow onto a vessel's quarter the wind began to quarter
28.
(transitive) (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
adjective
29.
being or consisting of one of four equal parts a quarter pound of butter
See also quarters
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for half quarter

quarter

n.

c.1300, "one-fourth of anything; one of four parts or divisions of a thing;" often in reference to the four parts into which a slaughtered animal is cut, from Old French quartier, cartier (12c.), from Latin quartarius "fourth part," from quartus "fourth" (see quart). One of the earliest dated references in English is to "parts of the body as dismembered during execution" (c.1300).

Used of the phases of the moon from early 15c. The use of quarter of an hour is attested from mid-15c. In Middle English quarter also meant "one of the four divisions of a 12-hour night" (late 14c.), and the quarter of the night meant "nine o'clock p.m." (early 14c.).

From late 14c. as "one of the four quadrants of the heavens;" hence, from the notion of the winds, "a side, a direction" (c.1400). In heraldry from mid-14c. as "one of the four divisions of a shield or coat of arms." The word's connection with "four" loosened in Middle English and by 15c. expressions such as six-quartered for "six-sided" are found. Meaning "region, locality, area, place" is from c.1400. Meaning "portion of a town" (identified by the class or race of people who live there) is first attested 1520s. For military sense, see quarters. As a period of time in a football game, from 1911. Quarter horse, bred strong for racing on quarter-mile tracks, first recorded 1834.

The coin (one fourth of a dollar) is peculiar to U.S., first recorded 1783. But quarter could mean "a farthing" in Middle English (late 14c.), and cf. British quadrant "a farthing" (c.1600), and classical Latin quadrans, the name of a coin worth a quarter of an as (the basic unit of Roman currency).

Quarter days (mid-15c.), designated as days when rents were paid and contracts and leases began or expired, were, in England, Lady day (March 25), Midsummer day (June 24), Michaelmas day (Sept. 29), and Christmas day (Dec. 25); in Scotland, keeping closer to the pagan Celtic calendar, they were Candlemas (Feb. 2), Whitsunday (May 15), Lammas (Aug. 1), and Martinmas (Nov. 11). Quarter in the sense "period of three months; one of the four divisions of a year" is recorded from late 14c.

v.

"to cut in quarters, divide into four parts," mid-14c., from quarter (n.). Specifically as the word for a form of criminal punishment from late 14c. (Old English had slitcwealm "death by rending"). Related: Quartered; quartering. The meaning "to put up soldiers" is recorded from 1590s (see quarters).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with half quarter
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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