(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)

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(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)

A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) before the named hour in time (e.g., "quarter of six" would mean 5:45). Primarily heard in US. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter of eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter of before I'm back.
See also: given, hour, of, quarter
References in classic literature ?
A was put into B's cradle in the nursery; B was transferred to the kitchen and became a Negro and a slave [Sensation-- confusion of angry ejaculations]--but within a quarter of an hour he will stand before you white and free
He drank a quarter of a pint before breakfast, and then walked up a hill; and another quarter of a pint after breakfast, and then walked down a hill; and, after every fresh quarter of a pint, Mr.
He observed that the butchers stalls contained neither mutton, goat, nor pork; and, knowing also that it is a sacrilege to kill cattle, which are preserved solely for farming, he made up his mind that meat was far from plentiful in Yokohama-- nor was he mistaken; and, in default of butcher's meat, he could have wished for a quarter of wild boar or deer, a partridge, or some quails, some game or fish, which, with rice, the Japanese eat almost exclusively.
Could you phase in the program over four years, trying to get a quarter of the class the first year, and then a larger proportion each of the following years to participate?
Viennese concert maestro and violinist Willi Boskovsky, spearheaded the artistic direction of the concert for a quarter of a century.