Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR QUARTER

There's one about a quarter of a mile down the stream—Stetson's boat.

Have they told you that dinner is not till a quarter past eight?

Harriett couldn't lay her hands on the money or on half of it or a quarter.

He has lived so long in the Quarter he looks at life from the Parisian angle.

The rain's over, I declare—at least for a quarter of an hour!

I have no chance in that quarter, especially when the old man's around.

It was about a quarter of a mile to our house; we walked the distance in unbroken silence.

A quarter of a mile from the finish the horses raced into a swinging stride.

Lauzanne's gallop was only a mile and a quarter; he might not be able to stay the additional quarter.

It takes a good horse to make all his own running for a mile and a quarter and then in.

WORD ORIGIN

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.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR QUARTER

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.