Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One fourth of something, especially of some weights and measures.
  • n. Chiefly British A loaf of bread weighing about 4 pounds (1.81 kilograms).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A quarter part; one fourth.
  • n. A loaf of bread weighing about four pounds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A quarter. Specifically: (a) The fourth part of a pint; a gill. (b) The fourth part of a peck, or of a stone (14 ibs.).
  • n. A loaf of bread weighing about four pounds; -- called also quartern loaf.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fourth part; a quarter.
  • n. Specifically The fourth part of certain British measures.
  • n. The fourth of a peck, or of a stone.
  • n. A quarter of a pound.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of four equal parts

Etymologies

Middle English quartron, from Old French quarteron, from quartier, quarter; see quarter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman quarteron ("quarter of a hundred"), from Old French quartier ("fourth") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The reporters, of course, expected a sensation; but, on the contrary, our evidence went to show that, as the poisonous substance was found in the "quartern" bottle on deceased's table, death was in all probability due to suicide.

    The Seven Secrets

  • In less than three minutes she returned, bringing a "quartern" loaf and a large piece of cheese.

    A Tale of a Lonely Parish

  • With “one lapis lazuli against quartern fever, one small jasper to help you find water, one small topaz to soothe your eyes…” the King seems prepared for every eventuality, likely or not.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • The next day, (the family having been meanwhile relieved with a half – quartern loaf and a piece of cheese, left with them by Mr. Bumble himself,) Oliver and his master returned to the miserable abode; where Mr. Bumble had already arrived, accompanied by four men from the workhouse, who were to act as bearers.

    Oliver Twist

  • ‘Why here’s one man that, in consideraton of his wife and large family, has a quartern loaf and a good pound of cheese, full weight.

    Oliver Twist

  • But I apprehend that we were personally fortunate in engaging a servant with a taste for cordials, who swelled our running account for porter at the public – house by such inexplicable items as ‘quartern rum shrub (Mrs. C.)’

    David Copperfield

  • It was not a very awful weapon that Miss La Creevy held, it being in fact nothing more nor less than a black – lead pencil; but discovering her mistake, the little portrait painter exchanged it for a mother – of – pearl fruit knife, wherewith, in proof of her desperate thoughts, she made a lunge as she spoke, which would have scarcely disturbed the crumb of a half – quartern loaf.

    Nicholas Nickleby

  • It might be supposed that a grocer was beyond the breath of calumny; but no — the neighbours stigmatised him as a chandler; and the poisonous voice of envy distinctly asserted that he dispensed tea and coffee by the quartern, retailed sugar by the ounce, cheese by the slice, tobacco by the screw, and butter by the pat.

    Sketches by Boz

  • Those two old men who came in ‘just to have a drain,’ finished their third quartern a few seconds ago; they have made themselves crying drunk; and the fat comfortable – looking elderly women, who had

    Sketches by Boz

  • They receive their half – quartern of gin and peppermint, with considerable deference, prefacing a request for ‘one of them soft biscuits,’ with a

    Sketches by Boz

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