1. Abbr. qt. or q.
a. A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 1/4 gallon or 32 ounces (0.946 liter).
b. A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in dry measure, equal to 1/8 peck or 2 pints (1.101 liters).
c. A unit of volume or capacity in the British Imperial System, used in liquid and dry measure, equal to 1.201 US liquid quarts or 1.032 US dry quarts (1.136 liters). See Table at measurement.
a. A container having a capacity of one quart.
b. The contents of such a container.
[Middle English, from Old French quarte, from Latin quārta, feminine of quārtus, fourth; see kwetwer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.