If I want to say the first three months of the year in one word, I would say "the first quarter".
Which word should I use to refer to a period of four months?

  • 5
    What is the context where you want to use this term? Why don't you want to just say "four months" or "the first four months of the year"? – The Photon May 11 at 15:18
  • 2
    Are you really looking for a single word? Please edit your question to clarify; I have assumed so (because of the title) but I agree with several others here that "four months" is a better option. – Glorfindel May 11 at 20:01
  • 1
    An example of how you would use the word might help. I can't imagine the context in which you would need this (or want it--any single word is likely to fail to be understood by many readers). – David K May 13 at 12:42
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Comments should be used to improve the question, not answer it. – Glorfindel May 14 at 5:48

It isn't common to speak of a four-month period, at least in the United States where I live. Thus, although others have suggested words for this, my recommendation is to not use them. Very few people would use such a word in English; the more natural way is to speak of a four-month period or some variation on that expression.

For example:

Sales were down during the four-month period ending (or beginning) in April.

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  • 5
    Do Not Use, +1. Especially since Academia has cornered the market on almost all words ending in -ester, and the "periods into which the academic year is divided at some universities" varies, making the words less than useless to the rest of us because of the ambiguity. – Mazura May 13 at 0:22

It's not in the most reputable dictionaries, but Wiktionary has it: quadrimester. It is a cousin of the more commonly used trimester, which means three months. It is composed of the Latin/French words for four and month.

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One-third of a year could work:

"For the first third of the year, sales were down. They picked up in the second period, but fell flat again in the final third."

It is works ok in this context, but 4 month period is probably clearer.

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  • 2
    But note that it’s weird to track things like this using anything other than quarters. – Tim May 12 at 11:33
  • "tertial (ˈtɜːʃəl) adj, n (Zoology) another word for tertiary [C19: from Latin tertius third, from ter thrice, from trēs three]" – TFD - tertiary isn't a noun, so you have to use ordinals. In Latin: tertius; English: third. – Mazura May 13 at 0:16

Go with ...


Eight two-week periods ~= 4 months :D

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  • 6
    Maybe a hexadeciweek. – towe May 14 at 8:58
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    Very creative solution! – DasBen May 14 at 13:01
  • @towe if you're going that route, it should be a heptadeciweek since 4 months is 17.33.. weeks – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight May 14 at 16:14
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    @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight so novemfortnight is closer?? Doesn't have the same ring ;) – johnDanger May 14 at 16:19
  • @johnDanger it's as if the tortured language is trying to tell us something. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight May 14 at 20:32

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