'Fortnight' Meaning: How Long is a Fortnight?

By Kelsey Weeks, updated on August 17, 2023

Although the ‘fortnight' meaning is not as popular as it once was. It is still beneficial to understand how to use and comprehend the meaning of 'fortnight,' especially so you do not confuse it with Fortnite, a popular video game, as this word is typically utilized in formal settings.

To get a glance at the information:

  • Fortnight is a noun that means two weeks. 

This is a quick answer, but the article will explain the word further, so continue reading to see what the word means, how to use it, and examples of the word in action.

‘Fortnight’ Definition: What Does It Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘fortnight’ is a noun with the meaning:

  • A period of 14 days or two weeks.

Synonyms of ‘Fortnight’

Although this is a specific term, a few synonyms can be used instead of ‘fortnight.’

For Example:

  • Half-month
  • Two weeks
  • Twice monthly
  • Fourteen nights

Antonyms of ‘Fortnight’

  • Eternity

How to Use ‘Fortnight’

It is used as a noun in a sentence. As a refresher, a noun is used as a subject or an object of a sentence. Typically, in ‘fortnight’s’ case, it is often used as an object of a sentence.

So, how does one know for sure how to use ‘fortnight? These explanations with examples should help.

  • Use ‘fortnight’ to let someone know of something upcoming.

For example, you may tell a coworker:

We are trying to align our calendars to ensure we can all brainstorm together, but due to everyone’s current projects, it looks like we will not be able to meet for a ‘fortnight.’ Preparing for our next projects together is worth it, so in two weeks, we will all meet.

  • It can be used to talk about two weeks in the past.

For example, you may talk to someone about a memory:

 About a ‘fortnight’ ago I remember buying what I would need for the celebration. So, I think we should have to decorate with what I bought and not worry about buying anything else because I was trying to plan not to be stressed close to the event.

  • Use it to reference two weeks' time.

It may be cheaper to rent a car for a ‘fortnight’ due to their promotion rather than a week and a half. This is because the second week can be included if we do two weeks over half a week. 

When to Use ‘Fortnight’

Although this word is not that common, it is still used. Some of the return of this word may have been because of the creation of a video game that is said to be a homophone which may have inspired curiosity about the original word.

It is a formal word that most people use bi-monthly or in two weeks or for two weeks or two weeks ago, but it is an abbreviated way to say the period of time, and it may still be heard in a professional and academic setting.

  • Although considered formal, there is no reason that it cannot be used informally when talking or texting your friends.

An example of this may look like:

I need you to come over and check my mail for me for the next ‘fortnight’ because I will be out of town, and I do not want to place a hold on my mail.

Nevertheless, most people utilize ‘fortnight’ professionally or formally.

Pronunciation: How Do You Pronounce ‘Fortnight?’

This guide has covered how to use the word, but to use it to your best ability, you need to be able to use it when speaking, not just writing:

Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce the term ‘fortnight’:


Example Sentences

To ensure you understand all purposes for ‘fortnight,’ here are some example sentences to cover different scenarios.

  • The family spent a ‘fortnight’ near each national park to make sure they could see all the elements, local sites, national forests, and state parks.
  • As burnout was setting in, as it does for most counselors at some point, her mentor suggested that she take the next ‘fortnight’ to reflect and relax to become rejuvenated.
  • Most people that celebrate holidays have a specific date that they observe, but we celebrate the first ‘fortnight’ of the rainy season, which can vary.
  • I am keeping a countdown of my last day of the program, and I have only a ‘fortnight’ left to complete.
  • I am deciding to finally go to the doctor’s office after my back has been hurting for a ‘fortnight.
  • They were planning to take a month-long vacation, but due to the upcoming inspection, the time was cut to a ‘fortnight.
  • The team has been observing security operations for the past ‘fortnight’ to see if there are any holes in their procedures.
  • The DMV is unsure of its current openings. They said they would not be able to get us in for an appointment for at least a ‘fortnight.’
  • To control the boa constrictor population in the Everglades, an organization goes out every ‘fortnight’ in each location to help capture all the invasive species in a rotating location schedule.
  • The parents decided not to allow their child to be on social media for the next ‘fortnight.

Final Advice on ‘Fortnight’ Definition and Meaning

As seen throughout, 'fortnight' has one specific usage to describe a period of time. Even though that is the case, it can be used in a lot of different scenarios.

Here is a quick recap of the information covered: 

  • 'Fortnight' is a noun and typically the object and not the subject of a sentence. 
  • 'Fortnight' is a period of two weeks, fourteen days, or fourteen nights. 

To expand your vocabulary and get a chance to look at other words that you may struggle with, check out the other guides found in the confusing words section of the website. More articles are added frequently, so check back daily.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Kelsey Weeks
Kelsey Weeks is currently a school counselor at a high school and a previous English teacher. She loves helping others with literacy, learning more, and exploring nature. She has an undergrad in English with an emphasis on secondary education and an M.A. in Applied Psychology from NYU.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.