- all four limbs or extremities; the four legs or feet of an animal or both arms and both legs or both hands and both feet of a person: The cat rolled off the ledge but landed on all fours.
- (used with a singular verb) Also called high-low-jack, old sledge, pitch, seven-up. Cards. a game for two or three players or two partnerships in which a 52-card pack is used, the object being to win special scoring values for the highest trump, the lowest trump, the jack, the ace, the ten, and the face cards.
- on all fours,
- in conformity with; corresponding exactly with.
- (of a person) on the hands and feet, or the hands and knees: I had to go on all fours to squeeze through the low opening.
Origin of all fours
First recorded in 1555–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- both the arms and legs of a person or all the legs of a quadruped (esp in the phrase on all fours)
- another name for seven-up
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with on all fours
on all fours
On one's hands and knees, as in Seven of us were on all fours, looking for the lost earring in the sand. In this idiom fours refers to the four limbs. [1300s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.