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We compare design and measurements for a single-layer meanderline quarter-wave phase retarder, operating across the wavelength range from 8 to 12 micrometers (25 to 37.5 THz) in the infrared. The structure was fabricated using direct-write electron-beam lithography. With measured frequency-dependent material properties incorporated into a periodic-moment-method model, reasonable agreement is obtained for the spectral dependence of axial ratio and phase delay. As expected from theory, the single-layer meanderline design has relatively low throughput (23%), but with extension to multiple-layer designs, the meanderline approach offers significant potential benefits as compared to conventional birefringent crystalline waveplates in terms of spectral bandwidth, angular bandwidth, and cost. Simple changes in the lithographic geometry will allow designs to be developed for specific phase retardations over specified frequency ranges in the infrared, terahertz, or millimeter-wave bands, where custom-designed waveplates are not commercially available.