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Related to quartering: Quartering of soldiers
at close quarters
In or occupying a cramped or rather small space with other people; the term "quarters" is a reference to military housing. I'm glad to be done with my student days. Living at close quarters with so many people just to afford rent is something I don't want to do again.
give (someone) no quarter
To offer (someone) no mercy, concession, indulgence, or leeway. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so go out there and give them no quarter! Our boss gives no quarter when it comes to the standards our project must meet.
be no quarter given
To have no mercy, concession, or indulgence offered. We are at war with barbarians, soldier. There will be no quarter given if you are taken captive, and you shall give them no quarter should you capture them. The match would determine which team made it to the finals of the tournament, so there was no quarter given by either side.
be given no quarter
To be offered no mercy, concession, or indulgence. We are at war with barbarians, soldier. You will be given no quarter if you are taken captive; likewise, you shall give them no quarter should you take them alive. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so make sure they are given no quarter!
granted no quarter
To be offered no mercy, concession, or indulgence. We are at war with barbarians, soldier. You will be granted no quarter if you are taken captive; likewise, you shall grant them no quarter should you take them alive. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so make sure they are granted no quarter!
(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.
quarter past (a given hour in time)
A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) after the named hour in time. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter past eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter past before I'm back.
A hamburger that weighs roughly four ounces (a quarter of a pound) before it is cooked. The phrase is best-known as the name of a hamburger served at McDonald's fast food restaurants. I think I'm going get a quarter-pounder for dinner tonight—what would you like?
grant (someone) no quarter
To offer (someone) no mercy, concession, indulgence, or leeway. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so go out there and grant them no quarter! Our boss grants no quarter when it comes to the standards of our projects.
draw and quarter
1. To hang and dismember someone. This phrase can also be preceded by the word "hang," as in "hang, draw, and quarter." This criminal is to be drawn and quartered, so once they pull him from the gallows, he'll be dismembered.
2. To kill a prisoner by tying each limb to a horse and then sending each horse in a different direction. When he's drawn and quartered, the horses will pull his body apart in a gruesome scene.
3. By extension, to punish someone severely. This usage is hyperbolic. Oh, she'll be drawn and quartered when mom and dad find out that she ran off to New York.
a bad quarter of an hour
old-fashioned A brief period of time that proves to be particularly difficult, unpleasant, or detrimental. Primarily heard in UK. It was a bad quarter of an hour outside of the courtroom, waiting for my name to be called. The team performed brilliantly—there wasn't a bad quarter of an hour in the entire match. A preeminent economic analyst predicts that the recent downturn in the markets will be nothing more than a bad quarter of an hour.
*drawn and quartered
Fig. to be dealt with very severely. (Now fig. except in historical accounts; refers to a former practice of torturing someone guilty of treason, usually a male, by disembowling and dividing the body into four parts. *Typically: be ~; have someone ~. Fixed order.) Todd was practically drawn and quartered for losing the Wilson contract. You were much too harsh with Jean. No matter what she did, she didn't need to be drawn and quartered for it!
grant someone no quarterand give someone no quarter
Fig. not to allow someone any mercy or indulgence. (Originally meant to refuse to imprison and simply to kill one's prisoner.) The professor was harsh on lazy students. During class, he granted them no quarter.
at close quarters
Crowded, in a confined space, as in We could use a lot more room; this tiny office puts us at close quarters. This idiom makes figurative use of quarters in the sense of "military lodgings" but originated in 18th-century naval warfare. When the enemy boarded a ship, the crew would retreat behind wooden barriers erected for this purpose and would continue to fire through loopholes. They thus were very near the enemy, fighting in close quarters. [c. 1800]
draw and quarter
Punish severely, as in Mom'll draw and quarter me if even one scratch appears on her new car. This expression alludes to two brutal forms of execution practiced in the past. In one the victim was drawn by a horse to a gallows, hanged, and then cut into four pieces and scattered; in the other the victim was hanged, disemboweled while still alive ( drawn), and then beheaded and dismembered. In both the victim was said to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Today the term is usually used hyperbolically.
at close quarters
If you do something or something happens at close quarters, you do it or it happens very near you. The only wolf which I have seen at really close quarters looked surprisingly gentle. The press was able to witness at close quarters the arguments going on.
a bad quarter of an houra short but very unpleasant period of time; an unnerving experience.
A bad quarter of an hour is a translation of the French phrase un mauvais quart d'heure , which has also been current in English since the mid 19th century.
at ˌclose ˈquartersfrom/within a very short distance: You have to examine the paint at close quarters in order to see the tiny scratches on it.
draw and quarter
1. To execute (a prisoner) by tying each limb to a horse and driving the horses in different directions.
2. To disembowel and dismember after hanging.
3. Informal To punish severely: The teenager was drawn and quartered for wrecking the family's only car.
close quarters, at/in
Crowded, in a confined space. The term comes from eighteenth-century naval warfare. Wooden barriers were placed at various points on a ship, so that when an enemy boarded, the crew could retreat behind them and fire at the enemy through loopholes. The crew then were said to be fighting in close quarters, that is, in close contact with the enemy. The term later was transferred to any close contact or crowded situation.
See also: close
grant no quarter
Show no mercy. This term comes from the ancient practice of sparing the life of an enemy who has come into one’s power, which was described as giving or granting quarter. Granting no quarter meant they were killed. The meaning of “quarter” has been disputed. The most likely explanation lies in “quarters” in the sense of “barracks,” a use of the word since the late sixteenth century. To grant no quarter thus meant to provide no housing for prisoners, who of course would not need it if they were dead. Wrote Nathan Bailey in 1725 (trans. Erasmus’ Colloquies), “It is grown into a proverb, I’ll give you no more quarter than a dog does a wolf.”