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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, esp. 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.
a. 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.
b. either quadrature of the moon. Cf. first quarter, last quarter.
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. Cf. 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 lbs. and in Britain 28 lbs.
15. Brit.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, esp. one generally occupied by a particular group of people: the Turkish quarter; an artists' quarter.
21. Usually, quarters.
a. housing accommodations, as a place of residence; lodgings.
b. Mil.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, esp. 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. Vet. Med.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.
a. the after part of a ship's side, usually from about the aftermost mast to the stern.
b. the general horizontal direction 45° from the stern of a ship on either side: Another boat is coming near on the port quarter.
c. one of the stations to which crew members are called for battle, emergencies, or drills.
d. the part of a yard between the slings and the yardarm.
e. See quarter point.
a. any of the four equal areas into which an escutcheon may be divided by a vertical and a horizontal line passing through the center.
b. any of the variously numbered areas into which an escutcheon may be divided for the marshaling of different arms.
c. any of the arms marshaled on an escutcheon.
d. a charge occupying one quarter of an escutcheon, esp. that in dexter chief. Cf. 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.
1. to divide into four equal or equivalent parts.
2. to divide into parts fewer or more than four: Quarter the pie into six pieces.
3. to cut the body of (a person) into quarters, esp. in executing for treason or the like.
4. Mach.to make holes in, fix, etc., a quarter of a circle apart.
5. to furnish with lodging in a particular place.
6. to impose (soldiers) on persons, towns, etc., to be lodged and fed: He quartered his men with the farmer.
7. to assign to a particular place for service, action, etc., as on a battleship.
8. to traverse (the ground) from left to right and right to left while advancing, as dogs in search of game.
a. to divide (an escutcheon) into four or more parts.
b. to place or bear quarterly (different coats of arms, etc.) on an escutcheon.
c. to display (a coat of arms) with one's own on an escutcheon.
1. to take up, or be in quarters; lodge: to quarter in a cheap hotel.
2. to range to and fro, as dogs in search of game.
3. Naut.to sail so as to have the wind or sea on the quarter.
1. being one of four equal or approximately equal parts into which anything is or may be divided.
2. being equal to only about one fourth of the full measure.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.