Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A set of four persons or items.
2. Mathematics Any number of the form a + bi + cj + dk where a, b, c, and d are real numbers, ij = k, i2 = j2 = -1, and ij = -ji. Under addition and multiplication, quaternions have all the properties of a field, except multiplication is not commutative.
[Middle English quaternioun, from Late Latin quaterniō, quaterniōn-, from Latin 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. (Mathematics) maths a generalized complex number consisting of four components, x = x0 + x1i + x2j + x3k, where x, x0…x3 are real numbers and i2 = j2 = k2 = –1, ij = –ji = k, etc
2. another word for quaternary5
[C14: from Late Latin quaterniōn, from Latin quaternī four at a time]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
qua•ter•ni•on(kwəˈtɜr ni ən)
1. a group or set of four persons or things.
2. a generalization of a complex number to four dimensions with three different imaginary units in which a number is represented as the sum of a real scalar and three real numbers multiplying each of the three imaginary units.
[1350–1400; Middle English quaternioun < Late Latin quaterniō= Latin quatern(ī) four at a time + -iō -ion]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||quaternion - the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.