Definitions for quaternaryˈkwɒt ərˌnɛr i, kwəˈtɜr nə ri

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word quaternary

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Quaternary, Quaternary period, Age of Man(noun)

    last 2 million years

  2. four, 4, IV, tetrad, quatern, quaternion, quaternary, quaternity, quartet, quadruplet, foursome, Little Joe(adj)

    the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one

  3. quaternate, quaternary(adj)

    consisting of or especially arranged in sets of four

    "quaternate leaves"; "a quaternary compound"

  4. fourth, 4th, quaternary(adj)

    coming next after the third and just before the fifth in position or time or degree or magnitude

    "the quaternary period of geologic time extends from the end of the tertiary period to the present"


  1. quaternary(Adjective)

    Of fourth rank or order.

  2. quaternary(Adjective)

    Of a mathematical expression containing e.g. x.

  3. Quaternary(ProperNoun)

    The geological period of the Cenozoic Era immediately following the Tertiary. It is subdivided into the Pleistocene and the Holocene Epochs.

  4. Origin: From the quaternarius, from quaterni + -arius (whence the suffix -ary); compare the quaternaire.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quaternary(adj)

    consisting of four; by fours, or in sets of four

  2. Quaternary(adj)

    later than, or subsequent to, the Tertiary; Post-tertiary; as, the Quaternary age, or Age of man

  3. Quaternary(noun)

    the number four

  4. Quaternary(noun)

    the Quaternary age, era, or formation. See the Chart of Geology

  5. Origin: [L. quaternarius consisting of four each, containing four, fr. quaterni four each, fr. quattuor four: cf. F. quaternaire. See Four.]


  1. Quaternary

    The Quaternary Period is the most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the ICS. It follows the Neogene Period and spans from 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present. The relatively short period is characterized by a series of glaciations and by the appearance and expansion of anatomically modern humans. The Quaternary includes two geologic epochs: the Pleistocene and Holocene. A proposed but as yet informal third epoch, the Anthropocene, has also gained credence as the time in which humans began to profoundly affect and change the global environment, although its start date is still disputed.

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