quarter

Definitions

General Science

  • noun one fourth of something (1/4 or 25 per cent)

Accounting

  • noun one of four equal parts (25 per cent)
  • noun a period of three months

Economics

  • One of the four three-month periods into which the calendar year is divided for the reporting of economic data.

Food

  • A volume measure equal to 8 bushels or 64 gallons in either imperial or USA measure

Military

  • noun a house or flat provided for a married serviceperson and their family
  • noun sparing an enemy’s life on condition that he surrenders

Politics

Origin & History of “quarter”

Quarter is one of a large family of English words that go back ultimately to Latin quattuor ‘four’ and its relatives. direct descendants of quattuor itself are actually fairly few – among them quatrain (16th c.) and quatrefoil (15th c.) (both via Old French). But its ordinal form quārtus ‘fourth’ has been most prolific: English is indebted to it for quart (14th c.), quarter (via the Latin derivative quartārius ‘fourth part’), quartet (18th c.), and quarto (16th c.). In compounds quattuor assumed the form quadr-, which has given English quadrangle (15th c.) (and its abbreviation quad (19th c.)), quadrant (14th c.), quadratic (17th c.), quadrille (18th c.), quadruped (17th c.), quadruplet (18th c.) (also abbreviated to quad (19th c.)), quarantine, quarrel ‘arrow’, not to mention the more heavily disguised cadre (19th c.), carfax (14th c.) (which means etymologically ‘four-forked’), squad, and square. And the derivative quater ‘four times’ has contributed carillon (18th c.) (etymologically a peal of ‘four’ bells), quaternary (15th c.), and quire of paper (15th c.) (etymologically a set of ‘four’ sheets of paper).
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