One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A period of two weeks.
- ‘I'm getting one or two calls a fortnight compared with one or two a term two years ago.’
- ‘It is the one fortnight of the year you can guarantee that I will be out on the water.’
- ‘He began to recover a fortnight ago and, after a sparkling piece of work last Tuesday, he was back on target.’
- ‘In the past fortnight six new sea lion pups have been born and two wolf cubs made their first public appearances.’
- ‘Today is my first day back at work after a fortnight's holiday and I'm feeling grouchy.’
- ‘Tomorrow will be my first proper day off for a fortnight and I feel utterly worn out.’
- ‘In the last seven years at home there were regular fortnights in hospital: periodic detention, we called it.’
- ‘At last Eric returned to Britain for a month's leave, but this was curtailed after a fortnight.’
- ‘For the past fortnight, some builders have been doing up the flat next door.’
- ‘Samuel Johnson said, ‘When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’’
- ‘He will have to rest for a fortnight after the operation.’
- ‘For the past fortnight Sue has been keeping a diary of all the food and drink she consumes.’
- ‘Last weekend, I returned home after a fortnight's holiday in a fairly anxious mood.’
- ‘Nobody would think of organising a social event or fundraiser in the holiday fortnight.’
- ‘They aren't visible at any time other than the wettest fortnight of the summer.’
- ‘After a fortnight here in the summer it's all but impossible, much as I love my flat.’
- ‘He has done nothing else but pant, shake and tremble for the past fortnight at least.’
- ‘Over the past fortnight, the town has suffered from a wave of vandalism and rowdy behaviour.’
- ‘In a fortnight's time he leaves Oxford to take up a new post at New York University.’
- ‘However, tenants who fall in to arrears must continue paying through the ‘non-charging’ fortnights.’
- 1.1informal (preceded by a specified day) used to indicate that something will take place two weeks after that day.
Old English fēowertīene niht ‘fourteen nights’.
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