(a) quarter after – Definition & Meaning


When it comes to telling time, there are a variety of ways to express the same moment. One of the most common phrases is “a quarter after.” This article will explore the definition and meaning of “a quarter after,” where it originated, and its associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


“A quarter after” refers to a specific moment in time, specifically 15 minutes past the hour. It is often used in conjunction with the 12-hour clock system, with the hour preceding the phrase. For example, “It’s a quarter after three” means it is 3:15.


The origin of “a quarter after” is not entirely clear, but it likely stems from the use of a 60-minute hour. One-quarter of 60 minutes is 15 minutes, which is why the phrase is used to denote a quarter of an hour past the hour.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of “a quarter after” is consistent across different dictionaries. Merriam-Webster defines it as “15 minutes past the hour,” while Oxford Languages defines it as “a quarter of an hour after the stated time.”


“A quarter after” is often associated with punctuality and timeliness. It is also associated with the concept of time management, as it is important to keep track of the time in order to stay on schedule.


There are several synonyms for “a quarter after,” including “15 minutes past,” “quarter past,” and “one-fourth past.”


There are no direct antonyms for “a quarter after,” but the opposite would be “a quarter to,” which means 15 minutes before the hour.

The same root words

The root word of “a quarter after” is “quarter,” which refers to one-fourth of something. The word “after” refers to a point in time that follows another point in time.

Example Sentences

  • “It’s a quarter after six, we should leave soon.”
  • “The meeting starts at a quarter after two, don’t be late.”
  • “I’ll meet you at the park at a quarter after four.”

In conclusion, “a quarter after” is a commonly used phrase to denote a specific moment in time, specifically 15 minutes past the hour. It has a clear origin and is consistent in meaning across different dictionaries. It is associated with punctuality and time management, and there are several synonyms for the phrase. Knowing the meaning of “a quarter after” is an important aspect of telling time and staying on schedule.

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