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 (kwŏt′ər-nĕr′ē, kwə-tûr′nə-rē)
1. Consisting of four; in fours.
2. Quaternary Of, relating to, or being the period of geologic time from about 2.6 million years ago to the present, the more recent of the two periods of the Cenozoic Era. It is characterized by the appearance and development of humans and includes the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs. See Table at geologic time.
3. Chemistry Relating to a nonhydrogen atom bonded to four other nonhydrogen atoms, especially to four carbon atoms: a quaternary nitrogen atom.
n. pl. qua·ter·nar·ies
1. The number four.
2. The member of a group that is fourth in order.
3. Quaternary The Quaternary Period.

[Latin quaternārius, from quaternī, by fours, from quater, four times; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. consisting of fours or by fours
2. fourth in a series
3. (Chemistry) chem containing or being an atom bound to four other atoms or groups: a quaternary ammonium compound.
4. (Mathematics) maths having four variables
n, pl -naries
the number four or a set of four
[C15: from Latin quaternārius each containing four, from quaternī by fours, distributive of quattuor four]


(Geological Science) of, denoting, or formed in the most recent period of geological time, which succeeded the Tertiary period nearly two million years ago
(Geological Science) the Quaternary the Quaternary period or rock system, divided into Pleistocene and Holocene (Recent) epochs or series
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkwɒt ərˌnɛr i, kwəˈtɜr nə ri)

adj., n., pl. -nar•ies. adj.
1. consisting of four.
2. arranged in fours.
3. (cap.) of or pertaining to the present period of earth history forming the latter part of the Cenozoic Era, originating about two million years ago, and including the Recent and Pleistocene Epochs.
4. a group of four.
5. the number four.
6. (cap.) the Quaternary Period or System.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin quaternārius consisting of four =quatern(ī) four at a time + -ārius -ary]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


The second and last period of the Cenozoic Era, from about 2 million years ago to the present, characterized by the appearance of humans. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


 four things collectively; a group of four facts or circumstances. Also quaternion.
Examples: quaternion of earth, air, water, and fire, 1695; of English writers—Shakespeare, Hooker, Bacon, Jeremy Taylor, 1868; of topics, 1648.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.quaternary - last 2 million yearsQuaternary - last 2 million years      
Age of Mammals, Cenozoic, Cenozoic era - approximately the last 63 million years
Holocene, Holocene epoch, Recent, Recent epoch - approximately the last 10,000 years
Pleistocene, Pleistocene epoch, Glacial epoch - from two million to 11 thousand years ago; extensive glaciation of the northern hemisphere; the time of human evolution
2.quaternary - the cardinal number that is the sum of three and onequaternary - the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one
digit, figure - one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration; "0 and 1 are digits"
Adj.1.quaternary - consisting of or especially arranged in sets of four; "quaternate leaves"; "a quaternary compound"
multiple - having or involving or consisting of more than one part or entity or individual; "multiple birth"; "multiple ownership"; "made multiple copies of the speech"; "his multiple achievements in public life"; "her multiple personalities"; "a pineapple is a multiple fruit"
2.quaternary - coming next after the third and just before the fifth in position or time or degree or magnitudequaternary - 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"
ordinal - being or denoting a numerical order in a series; "ordinal numbers"; "held an ordinal rank of seventh"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


A. ADJcuaternario
B. Ncuaternario m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


adj (Geol) → quartär; (Chem) → quaternär, aus vier Teilen bestehend
n (Geol) → Quartär nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
A naturalist, struck by a parallelism of this nature in any one class, by arbitrarily raising or sinking the value of the groups in other classes (and all our experience shows that this valuation has hitherto been arbitrary), could easily extend the parallelism over a wide range; and thus the septenary, quinary, quaternary, and ternary classifications have probably arisen.
In 17 milk samples, the sellers have added water and two have added Quaternary Ammonium Compound (QAC) chemical, additional AC discarded more than 500 liters milk and imposed 6000 rupees fine on them and also warned them if they would be found guilty next time then they would also be sent to jail.
Aster DM Healthcare, a leading healthcare service network in the GCC and the third largest healthcare company in India, has opened its second multi-speciality quaternary care hospital in Bengaluru called Aster RV Hospital.
The surface of the territory of Lithuania and surficial geological surroundings which are relevant from an engineering point of view formed during the Quaternary period.
The Metso MX3 is suitable for secondary, tertiary and quaternary crushing stages.
University College Hospital's new Chief Medical Director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo has assured that his administration will be patient centred and he will turn the hospital to a quaternary one that will reverse medical tourism.
Alluvial gold is abundantly available in Quaternary deposits in the vicinity of River Kabul and River Indus in the district Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan.
[USPRwire, Wed Oct 24 2018] Quaternary Ammonium Compounds Market: Introduction Quaternary ammonium compounds are also known as quats or QACs.
Quaternary Glaciation of the Great Lakes Region: Process, Landforms, Sediments, and Chronology
Waters Corp.'s ACQUITY Arc Bio System is a versatile, iron-free, bio-inert, quaternary liquid chromatograph specifically engineered to enable the efficient transfer and improvement of bioseparation analytical methods regardless of the LC platform on which the original method was developed.
The formation of some quaternary with compositions Cu-II-III-[Se.sub.3] (x = 1/2), Cu-[II.sub.2]-III-[Se.sub.4] (x =2/3) and [Cu.sub.2]-II-III-[Se.sub.5] (x = 1/3) have been reported [8-11], and the first crystal structure characterization of one I-II-III-[VI.sub.3] semiconductor member, indicated a degradation of symmetry from the chalcopyrite structure 14 2d to a related tetragonal structure P 4 2c [12].