What does quaternary mean?

Definitions for quaternary
ˈkwɒt ərˌnɛr i, kwəˈtɜr nə riqua·ter·na·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word quaternary.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Quaternary, Quaternary period, Age of Mannoun

    last 2 million years

  2. four, 4, IV, tetrad, quatern, quaternion, quaternary, quaternity, quartet, quadruplet, foursome, Little Joeadjective

    the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one

  3. quaternate, quaternaryadjective

    consisting of or especially arranged in sets of four

    "quaternate leaves"; "a quaternary compound"

  4. fourth, 4th, quaternaryadjective

    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. quaternaryadjective

    Of fourth rank or order.

  2. quaternaryadjective

    Of a mathematical expression containing e.g. x.

  3. Quaternarynoun

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

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Quaternarynoun

    The number four.

    Etymology: quaternarius, Lat.

    The objections against the quaternary of elements and ternary of principles, needed not to be opposed so much against the doctrines themselves. Boyle.


  1. Quaternary

    The Quaternary ( kwə-TUR-nə-ree, KWOT-ər-nerr-ee) is the current and most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). It follows the Neogene Period and spans from 2.58 million years ago to the present. The Quaternary Period is divided into two epochs: the Pleistocene (2.58 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago) and the Holocene (11.7 thousand years ago to today, although a third epoch, the Anthropocene, has been proposed but is not yet officially recognised by the ICS).The Quaternary Period is typically defined by the cyclic growth and decay of continental ice sheets related to the Milankovitch cycles and the associated climate and environmental changes that they caused.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quaternaryadjective

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

  2. Quaternaryadjective

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

  3. Quaternarynoun

    the number four

  4. Quaternarynoun

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

  5. Etymology: [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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Quaternary

    kwa-tėr′nar-i, adj. consisting of four: by fours: pertaining to strata more recent than the Upper Tertiary: (math.) containing four variables.—n. a group of four things.—adjs. Quāt′ern, Quāter′nāte, composed of, or arranged in, sets of four.—n. Quāter′nion, a set or group of four: a word of four syllables: (pl.) in mathematics, a calculus of peculiar power and generality invented by Sir W. R. Hamilton of Dublin, as a geometry, primarily concerning itself with the operations by which one directed quantity or vector is changed into another.—v.t. to divide into quaternions: (Milt.) to divide into companies.—ns. Quāter′nionist, a student of quaternions; Quātern′ity, the state of being four, a group of four.—Quaternary number, ten; so called by the Pythagoreans because equal to 1 + 2 + 3 + 4.

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How to say quaternary in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of quaternary in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of quaternary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

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"quaternary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/quaternary>.

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    come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort
    • A. aberrate
    • B. excogitate
    • C. abrade
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