The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Quarter \Quar"ter\ (kw[aum]r"t[~e]r), n. [F. quartier, L.
quartarius a fourth part, fr. quartus the fourth. See
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:
(a) The fourth of a hundred-weight, being 25 or 28 pounds,
according as the hundredweight is reckoned at 100 or
(b) 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. --Hutton.
(c) (Astron.) The fourth part of the moon's period, or
monthly revolution; as, the first quarter after the
change or full.
(d) One limb of a quadruped with the adjacent parts; one
fourth part of the carcass of a slaughtered animal,
including a leg; as, the fore quarters; the hind
(e) That part of a boot or shoe which forms the side, from
the heel to the vamp.
(f) (Far.) That part on either side of a horse's hoof
between the toe and heel, being the side of the
(g) A term of study in a seminary, college, etc, etc.;
properly, a fourth part of the year, but often longer
(h) pl. (Mil.) The encampment on one of the principal
passages round a place besieged, to prevent relief and
(i) (Naut.) The after-part of a vessel's side, generally
corresponding in extent with the quarter-deck; also,
the part of the yardarm outside of the slings.
(j) (Her.) 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.
Note: 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, v. t., 5.
(k) 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.
(l) A division of a town, city, or county; a particular
district; a locality; as, the Latin quarter in Paris.
(m) (Arch.) A small upright timber post, used in
partitions; -- in the United States more commonly
(n) (Naut.) 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
2. Proper station; specific place; assigned position; special
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cumbrous elements. --Milton.
[1913 Webster] Hence, specifically:
(a) (Naut.) A station at which officers and men are posted
in battle; -- usually in the plural.
(b) Place of lodging or temporary residence; shelter;
entertainment; -- usually in the plural.
The banter turned as to what quarters each would
find. --W. Irving.
(c) pl. (Mil.) A station or encampment occupied by troops;
a place of lodging for soldiers or officers; as,
(d) 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
Cocks and lambs . . . at the mercy of cats and
wolves . . . must never expect better quarter.
3. Friendship; amity; concord. [Obs.] To keep quarter, to
keep one's proper place, and so be on good terms with
In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom.
I knew two that were competitors for the secretary's
place, . . . and yet kept good quarter between
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 (Naut.), in a direction between abeam and
astern; opposite, or nearly opposite, a vessel's quarter.
Quarter aspect. (Astrol.) Same as Quadrate.
Quarter back (Football), the player who has position next
behind center rush, and receives the ball on the snap
Quarter badge (Naut.), an ornament on the side of a vessel
near, the stern. --Mar. Dict.
Quarter bill (Naut.), a list specifying the different
stations to be taken by the officers and crew in time of
action, and the names of the men assigned to each.
Quarter block (Naut.), a block fitted under the quarters of
a yard on each side of the slings, through which the clew
lines and sheets are reeved. --R. H. Dana, Jr.
Quarter boat (Naut.), a boat hung at a vessel's quarter.
Quarter cloths (Naut.), long pieces of painted canvas, used
to cover the quarter netting.
Quarter day, a day regarded as terminating a quarter of the
year; hence, one on which any payment, especially rent,
becomes due. In matters influenced by United States
statutes, quarter days are the first days of January,
April, July, and October. In New York and many other
places, as between landlord and tenant, they are the first
days of May, August, November, and February. The quarter
days usually recognized in England are 25th of March (Lady
Day), the 24th of June (Midsummer Day), the 29th of
September (Michaelmas Day), and the 25th of December
Quarter face, in fine arts, portrait painting, etc., a face
turned away so that but one quarter is visible.
Quarter gallery (Naut.), a balcony on the quarter of a
ship. See Gallery, 4.
Quarter gunner (Naut.), a petty officer who assists the
Quarter look, a side glance. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
Quarter nettings (Naut.), hammock nettings along the
Quarter note (Mus.), a note equal in duration to half a
minim or a fourth of semibreve; a crochet.
Quarter pieces (Naut.), several pieces of timber at the
after-part of the quarter gallery, near the taffrail.
Quarter point. (Naut.) See Quarter, n., 1
Quarter railing, or Quarter rails (Naut.), narrow molded
planks reaching from the top of the stern to the gangway,
serving as a fence to the quarter-deck.
Quarter sessions (Eng. Law), a general court of criminal
jurisdiction held quarterly by the justices of peace in
counties and by the recorders in boroughs.
Quarter square (Math.), the fourth part of the square of a
number. Tables of quarter squares have been devised to
save labor in multiplying numbers.
Quarter turn, Quarter turn belt (Mach.), an arrangement
in which a belt transmits motion between two shafts which
are at right angles with each other.
Quarter watch (Naut.), a subdivision of the full watch (one
fourth of the crew) on a man-of- war.
To give quarter, or To show quarter (Mil.), to accept as
prisoner, on submission in battle; to forbear to kill, as
a vanquished enemy.
To keep quarter. See Quarter, n., 3.