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Fortnight

A fortnight is a period of fourteen days, or two weeks. Related words are fortnights and fortnightly. The word fortnight comes from the Middle English word fourteniht, which is a contraction of the Old English term feowertyne niht. Feowertyne niht means fourteen nights, corresponding to the Old German custom of counting time in nights rather than in days. When the term fortnight was coined, there was a similar term that meant a period of seven days or one week, seofon niht, which was abbreviated to the word sennight. Interestingly, sennight has fallen out of favor while use of the word fortnight has remained strong in British English. Fortnight is not seen in American English.


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Examples

As Peterborough bakes in the heat today, with temperatures outstripping the likes of Nairobi in Kenya, there’s more good news from forecasters who are predicting a fortnight of sunshine and warmth. (The Peterborough Telegraph)

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will be introduced in all government maternity hospitals within a fortnight to protect newborn babies, according to Minister for Health Kamineni Srinivas. (The HIndu)

But senior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) insisted that “the vast majority of people” could be trusted to decide whether they needed a fortnight off work. (The Telegraph)

A MARRIED man accused of murdering his former girlfriend “abducted” and threatened to kill her less than a fortnight before her death, a court has heard. (The Bournemouth Echo)

Now Thankyou has regular catch-ups, such as a fortnightly ‘team news time’ to share their wins and recognise staff that have performed well. (The Canberra Times)

The copy tells us that the new rail link brings London “within a fortnight’s journey from Tokyo, Peking and Shanghai, thus saving much time and money, as well as the tedium of a long sea-voyage.” (The Japan Times)

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