Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin quartarius, from quartus fourth
Date: 14th century
1. one of four equal parts into which something is divisible ; a fourth part <in the top quarter of his class> 2. any of various units of capacity or weight equal to or derived from one fourth of some larger unit 3. any of various units of length or area equal to one fourth of some larger unit 4. the fourth part of a measure of time: as a. one of a set of four 3-month divisions of a year <business was up during the third quarter> b. a school term of about 12 weeks c. quarter hour <a quarter after three> 5. a. a coin worth a quarter of a dollar b. the sum of 25 cents 6. a. one limb of a quadruped with the adjacent parts; especially one fourth part of the carcass of a slaughtered animal including a leg b. plural, British hindquarter 2 7. a. the region or direction lying under any of the four divisions of the horizon b. one of the four parts into which the horizon is divided or the cardinal point corresponding to it c. a compass point or direction other than the cardinal points d. (1) an unspecified person or group <financial help from many quarters — Current Biography> (2) a point, direction, or place not definitely identified <the view to the rear quarter — Consumer Reports> 8. a. a division or district of a town or city <he describes the immigrant quarter — Alfred Kazin> b. the inhabitants of such a quarter 9. a. an assigned station or post b. plural an assembly of a ship's company for ceremony, drill, or emergency c. plural living accommodations ; lodgings <show you to your quarters> 10. merciful consideration of an opponent <a team that gave no quarter during the championship game>; specifically the clemency of not killing a defeated enemy 11. a fourth part of the moon's period 12. the side of a horse's hoof between the toe and the heel — see hoof illustration 13. a. any of the four parts into which a heraldic field is divided b. a bearing or charge occupying the first fourth part of a heraldic field 14. the stern area of a ship's side 15. one side of the upper of a shoe or boot from heel to vamp 16. one of the four equal periods into which the playing time of some games is divided II. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to cut or divide into four equal or nearly equal parts <quarter an apple> <condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered> b. archaic divide 2. to provide with lodging or shelter 3. to crisscross (an area) in many directions 4. a. to arrange or bear (as different coats of arms) quarterly on one escutcheon b. to add (a coat of arms) to others on one escutcheon c. to divide (a shield) into distinct sections (as by stripes) intransitive verb 1. lodge, dwell 2. to crisscross a district 3. to change from one quarter to another <the moon quarters> 4. to strike on a ship's quarter <the wind was quartering> III. adjective Date: 14th century consisting of or equal to a quarter
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.