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For other uses, see Fortnight (disambiguation).

A fortnight is a unit of time equal to 14 days (2 weeks). The word derives from the Old English: fēowertyne niht, meaning "fourteen nights".[1][2] Fortnight and fortnightly are commonly used words in the English-speaking world, where some wages, salaries and social security benefits are paid on a fortnightly basis,[3] except North America, where it is rare outside of some Canadian regions and insular traditional communities (e.g. Amish) in the United States. American and Canadian payroll systems may use the term biweekly in reference to pay periods every two weeks. Neither term should be confused with semimonthly (in one year there are 26 fortnightly or biweekly versus 24 semimonthly pay periods).


For more information see eclipse cycle.

In astronomy, a fortnight is half a synodic month[citation needed], the mean average time between a full moon and a new moon (and vice versa). This is equal to 14.77 days.[4][5] In the Hindu calendar this period is called a Paksha (also Paksa) and consists of 15 Tithi.[citation needed]

In other languages[edit]

In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period and the equivalents of "two weeks", "14 days" or (counting inclusively) "15 days" have to be used. Among the romance languages, there are the terms quincena (or quince días) in Spanish and Galician, quinzena (Portuguese and Catalan), quindicina (Italian),and quinzaine (French), all meaning "15 days"; Italian also has the word "bisettimanale", literally meaning biweekly. Similarly, in Greek, the term δεκαπενθήμερο (dekapenthímero), meaning "15 days", is also used. In Hebrew, the single-word (shvu′ayim) שבועיים means exactly "two weeks". In Arabic, a similar single-word is used (osbu′ayn) أسبوعين, also meaning "two weeks". ( The Hindu calendar uses the Sanskrit word "paksha" to mean one half of a lunar month, which is between 14 and 15 solar days. In Welsh, the term pythefnos, meaning "15 nights", is used instead. This is in keeping with the Welsh term for a week, which is wythnos ("eight nights"). In Irish, the term coicís and in Czech the terms čtrnáctidenní and dvoutýdenní have the same meaning as fortnight.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 5th Edition, 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 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  4. ^ Littmann, Mark; Fred Espenak; Ken Willcox (2008). Totality: Eclipses of the Sun. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-953209-5. 
  5. ^ Synodic Month definition Eric W. Weisstein

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National Post

Daily Mail
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:21:28 -0700

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a bellicose statement to the European Commission President, telling him that his armed forces could 'take Kiev in a fortnight'. The warning was made to Jose Manual Barroso over the phone, according to an Italian ...
Times of India
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:31:31 -0700

MUMBAI: In the fourth suicide in a fortnight at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Vikram Vasudev, 45, jumped off the bridge early on Monday morning. The Bandra police, with help from the fire brigade, were trying to trace the body till late in the night ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:03:57 -0700

Rafael van der Vaart has allayed fears over his fitness after picking up a suspected calf injury on Saturday. The Netherlands international had to be substituted 37 minutes into Hamburg's shock 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Paderborn after sustaining ...

Financial Express

Business Standard
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:15:00 -0700

The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reviewed international prices of crude oil and petroleum products during the 2nd fortnight of August 2014. Accordingly, the under-recovery on High Speed ...
Times of India
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:33:37 -0700

CHENNAI: From a distance, the dog was a blur next to a freshly dug grave, its whimpers lost in the noise of vehicles speeding past. For more than a fortnight the animal would not leave the spot where the 18-year-old boy who had adopted him had been ...
Times of India
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:46:29 -0700

VISAKHAPATNAM: It was barely a fortnight ago when the city was high on patriotic fervour with Vizagites going around streets holding the national flag. But within two weeks of the Independence Day, it seems people have forgotten the respect the ...
Indian NewsLink
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:48:45 -0700

Purple is the colour of choice of Paige Thiyagarajah, our Model of the Fortnight. We can understand; for our photographer Bhikhu Bhulla says that she symbolises energy and yet docile and friendly. Born in New Zealand, Paige has had the best of three ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:11:15 -0700

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