A quarter is one fourth of something or twenty-five percent:

  • A quarter is one fourth of a dollar. It’s worth twenty-five cents. Four quarters make a dollar.
  • A fifteen-minute period of time is a quarter. The clock shows that it’s a quarter to six.
  • Sporting events such as American football may be divided into quarters: first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter. Each quarter is fifteen minutes.
  • A quarter note in music is one fourth of a whole note.
quarter note
  • Military quarters are places where soldiers live.

Closely related to the word "quarter" is the word "quart." This is often used when describing liquids:

  • A quart of milk is 32 ounces. It’s equivalent to two pints.
quart of milk
  • Two quarts make half a gallon or 64 ounces.
two quarts
  • Four quarts make a gallon or 128 ounces.

quarts of milk


quarts of milk

  • When people buy oil for their car, they often buy it by the quart. A quart of oil costs two or three dollars.
quart of oil

Businesses often talk about their yearly progress in terms of quarters. Each quarter is three months long:

  • The first quarter is January through March
  • The second quarter is April through June
  • The third quarter is July through September
  • The fourth quarter is October through December

Three quarters of the year have passed. We’re now in the fourth quarter.

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This page was published on October 17, 2013.