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A fortnight (sometimes fourtnight) is a unit of time equal to 14 days (2 weeks). The word derives from the Old English: f?owertyne niht, meaning "fourteen nights".[1][2]

Some wages and salaries are paid on a fortnightly basis;[3] however, in North America it is far more common to use the term biweekly. Neither of these terms should be confused with semimonthly, which divides a year into exactly 24 periods (12 months × 2), instead of the 26 (?52 weeks ÷ 2) of fortnightly/biweekly.[4]


In astronomy, a lunar fortnight is half a lunar synodic month, equivalent to the mean period between a full moon and a new moon (and vice versa). This is equal to 14.77 days.[5][6]


A fortnight is a term that is used prominently in sporting circles - as many major sports events have a two-week or approximately half-month time frame. In tennis, Wimbledon and the other Grand Slam tournaments are played over two weeks and are often referred to as lasting a fortnight. The Summer and Winter Olympics are also slightly longer than two weeks in length and may be referenced in this manner as well. Likewise various other events in the sporting world could fall under this characterization.

In other languages

In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period, and the equivalent terms "two weeks", "14 days", or "15 days" (counting inclusively) have to be used.

See also


  1. ^ "Fortnight". The Concise Oxford Dictionary (5th ed.). 1964. p. 480.
  2. ^ Senight, sennight or se'night (seven-night), an old word for the week, was still in use in the early 19th century, to judge from Jane Austen's letters.
  3. ^ "Australian Government - How much Disability Support Pension do I get?". Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ Steven Bragg (22 June 2010). "What is the difference between a semimonthly and biweekly payroll?". AccountingTools. Retrieved 2015. Semimonthly is paid 24 times per year, and the biweekly is paid 26 times per year.
  5. ^ Littmann, Mark; Fred Espenak; Ken Willcox (2008). Totality: Eclipses of the Sun. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-953209-5.
  6. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Synodic Month definition".
  7. ^ BBC (16 October 2014). "BBC Wales - Catchphrase". BBC Wales. Retrieved 2016. Wythnos is a week.
  8. ^ "Do You Know How to Say Fortnight in Different Languages?".

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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