AskDefine | Define fortnight

Dictionary Definition

fortnight n : a period of fourteen consecutive days; "most major tennis tournaments last a fortnight" [syn: two weeks]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /ˈfɔː(r)t.naɪt/
  • /"fOrtnaIt/

Etymology

Noun

  1. A period of two weeks.
    1852 Charles Dickens, Bleak House: We will proceed with the hearing on Wednesday fortnight.

Translations

Period of two weeks

See also

Extensive Definition

The fortnight is a unit of time equivalent to fourteen days. The word derives from the Old English feorwertyne niht, meaning "fourteen nights".
The word is common in Britain, Ireland and many Commonwealth countries such as India and Australia where many wages, salaries and most social security benefits are paid on a fortnightly basis. The fortnight is rarely used in The United States of America, but is used regionally in Canada. It is also the base unit of time in the humorous FFF System of units.
In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period and the equivalents of "two weeks" or "fourteen days" have to be used. Payroll systems may use the term bi-weekly in reference to pay periods every two weeks. In Spanish, Italian, French and in Portuguese, there are the terms quincena, quindici giorni, quinzaine and quinzena, all meaning "fifteen days". Similarly, in Greek, the term dekapenthimero meaning "fifteen days" is also used. In Arabic the short term "أسبوعان" (two weeks) is commonly used and the longer term "خمسة عشر يوماً" (fifteen days) is used to a lesser extent. In Hebrew the term "שבועיים" (two weeks) is commonly used.

References

fortnight in Catalan: Quinzena
fortnight in Spanish: Quincena
fortnight in French: Quinzaine
fortnight in Portuguese: Quinzena
fortnight in Russian: Фортнайт

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

L, Sexagesima, abundant year, academic year, annum, bissextile year, boxcar, boxcars, calendar month, calendar year, century, common year, day, decade, decennary, decennium, defective year, dozen, duodecimo, eighty, eleven, fifteen, fifty, fiscal year, five and twenty, forty, four and twenty, fourscore, fourscore and ten, fourteen, half a hundred, hour, leap year, long dozen, lunar month, lunar year, lunation, luster, lustrum, man-hour, microsecond, millennium, millisecond, minute, moment, month, moon, ninety, nonagenarian, octogenarian, quarter, quindecennial, quindecim, quindecima, quindene, quinquennium, regular year, score, second, semester, septuagenarian, session, seventy, sexagenarian, sexagenary, sexagesimo-quarto, sidereal year, sixteen, sixteenmo, sixty, sixty-four, sixty-fourmo, solar year, sun, teens, term, thirteen, thirty-two, thirty-twomo, threescore, threescore and ten, trimester, twelve, twelvemo, twelvemonth, twenty, twenty-five, twenty-four, twenty-fourmo, two dozen, two weeks, twoscore, week, weekday, year
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