I am looking for a hypernym for trimester and quarter.

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    Please add the context to your question—as answers have shown, both ‘trimester’ and ‘quarter’ can be used to describe various different things, and a hypernym for them will differ depending on the context. For example, both ‘stage(s) of pregnancy’ or ‘academic terms’ could be correct answers in the right circumstances. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 19:28
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    Actually I just found the core issue: In Spain there is the word 'Cuatrimetre' which means a period of 4 months. I was in the confusion that quarter was the translation of that word.
    – Nerian
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 11:13
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    No, a quarter is (among other things) three months, just like ‘trimester’. It is the same word as cuarto in Spanish, so it just means ‘one fourth’; i.e., 15 minutes (if relating to an hour), three months (if relating to a year), etc. This doesn’t change the fact that a three-month period can still be a subdivision of many different things, and therefore, the question needs context to be answered. If you asked in Spanish what the hypernym for cuarto is, should it be ‘fractions’, ‘living spaces’, or ‘time units’? It could be all three in different contexts. Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


timespans ? periods ?

(warning: I am non native speaker and too low rep to comment)

PS if you downvote, please explain why, so I can learn. Thank you Shyam and all!

btw the title and body of the question has been edited and no more exacly reflects the original question, imho

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    "Periods" is fine. "Timespans" doesn't sound right to me. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:58
  • @Peter Shor. Hi. Deeply honored. I am going to frame this :-)
    – Pam
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 14:49
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    Please restrict the answer to the answering the question - and put comments (e.g. questions about downvotes, and comments about edits) into comments.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 18:38

Academic terms.

If you are looking for a hypernym for semester, trimester and quarter, then academic term is the answer.

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    You know, I read the term part there completely the wrong way.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:24
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_term
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:28
  • In my case, there is no academic context. The context is an invoicing schedule, where invoices can be grouped by quarters or trimesters. I am looking for a word to refer to said things.
    – Nerian
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:30
  • @Nerian You say "quarters or trimesters". If they are both 3 months, what's the difference? I'm asking because the word is not in common use in the UK, in either academic or other contexts, except for the 3 trimesters of a pregnancy.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 22:18

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