1. One of four equal parts into which anything is divided, or is regarded as divided; a fourth part or portion; as, a quarter of a dollar, of a pound, of a yard, of an hour, etc. Hence, specifically: The fourth of a hundred-weight, being 25 or 28 pounds, according as the hundredweight is reckoned at 100 or 112 pounds.
The fourth of a ton in weight, or eight bushels of grain; as, a quarter of wheat; also, the fourth part of a chaldron of coal.
(Science: astronomy) One of the divisions of an escutcheon when it is divided into four portions by a horizontal and a perpendicular line meeting in the fess point.
When two coats of arms are united upon one escutcheon, as in case of marriage, the first and fourth quarters display one shield, the second and third the other. See Quarter. One of the four parts into which the horizon is regarded as divided; a cardinal point; a direction’ principal division; a region; a territory. Scouts each coast light-armed scour, Each quarter, to descry the distant foe. (milton)
A division of a town, city, or county; a particular district; a locality; as, the latin quarter in paris.
The fourth part of the distance from one point of the compass to another, being the fourth part of 11 deg 15′, that is, about 2 deg 49
‘; called also quarter point.
2. Proper station; specific place; assigned position; special location. Swift to their several quarters hasted then The cumbrous elements. (milton) Hence, specifically: A station at which officers and men are posted in battle; usually in the plural.
place of lodging or temporary residence; shelter; entertainment; usually in the plural. The banter turned as to what quarters each would find. (W. Irving)
A station or encampment occupied by troops; a place of lodging for soldiers or officers; as, winter quarters.
treatment shown by an enemy; mercy; especially, the act of sparing the life a conquered enemy; a refraining from pushing one’s advantage to extremes. He magnified his own clemency, now they were at his mercy, to offer them quarter for their lives. (Clarendon) Cocks and lambs . . . At the mercy of cats and wolves . . . Must never expect better quarter. (L’Estrange)
3. Friendship; amity; concord. To keep quarter, to keep one’s proper place, and so be on good terms with another. In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom. (Shak) I knew two that were competitors for the secretary’s place, . . . And yet kept good quarter between themselves. (bacon) false quarter, a cleft in the quarter of a horse’s foot. Fifth quarter, the hide and fat; a butcher’s term. On the quarter, to accept as prisoner, on submission in battle; to forbear to kill, as a vanquished enemy. To keep quarter. See Quarter.
Origin: F. Quartier, L. Quartarius a fourth part, fr. Quartus the fourth. See Quart.