What does quaternion mean?

Definitions for quaternionkwəˈtɜr ni ən

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word quaternion.

Princeton's WordNet

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

    the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one


  1. quaternion(Noun)

    A group or set of four people or things.

  2. quaternion(Noun)

    A four-dimensional hypercomplex number that consists of a real dimension and 3 imaginary ones (i, j, k) that are each a square root of -1. They are commonly used in vector mathematics and in calculating the rotation of three-dimensional objects.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quaternion(noun)

    the number four

  2. Quaternion(noun)

    a set of four parts, things, or person; four things taken collectively; a group of four words, phrases, circumstances, facts, or the like

  3. Quaternion(noun)

    a word of four syllables; a quadrisyllable

  4. Quaternion(noun)

    the quotient of two vectors, or of two directed right lines in space, considered as depending on four geometrical elements, and as expressible by an algebraic symbol of quadrinomial form

  5. Quaternion(verb)

    to divide into quaternions, files, or companies

  6. Origin: [L. quaternio, fr. quaterni four each. See Quaternary.]


  1. Quaternion

    In mathematics, the quaternions are a number system that extends the complex numbers. They were first described by Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton in 1843 and applied to mechanics in three-dimensional space. A feature of quaternions is that the product of two quaternions is noncommutative. Hamilton defined a quaternion as the quotient of two directed lines in a three-dimensional space or equivalently as the quotient of two vectors. Quaternions can also be represented as the sum of a scalar and a vector. Quaternions find uses in both theoretical and applied mathematics, in particular for calculations involving three-dimensional rotations such as in three-dimensional computer graphics and computer vision. They can be used alongside other methods, such as Euler angles and rotation matrices, or as an alternative to them depending on the application. In modern mathematical language, quaternions form a four-dimensional associative normed division algebra over the real numbers, and thus also form a domain. In fact, the quaternions were the first noncommutative division algebra to be discovered. The algebra of quaternions is often denoted by H, or in blackboard bold by . It can also be given by the Clifford algebra classifications Cℓ0,2 ≅ Cℓ03,0. The algebra H holds a special place in analysis since, according to the Frobenius theorem, it is one of only two finite-dimensional division rings containing the real numbers as a proper subring, the other being the complex numbers.³


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of quaternion in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of quaternion in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Images & Illustrations of quaternion

  1. quaternionquaternionquaternion

Translations for quaternion

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for quaternion »


Find a translation for the quaternion definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these quaternion definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"quaternion." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 21 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/quaternion>.

Are we missing a good definition for quaternion? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for quaternion:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.