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[kwawr-tet] /kwɔrˈtɛt/
any group of four persons or things.
an organized group of four singers or players.
a musical composition for four voices or instruments.
Also, especially British, quartette.
Origin of quartet
1765-75; < Italian quartetto, diminutive of quarto < Latin quartus fourth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quartet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The quartet in the Beebe store watched his departure from the windows.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • They sing a quartet, and with the most complete purity and melody.

    Strife and Peace

    Fredrika Bremer
  • The other three members were tools over whom the quartet had obtained some hold.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate Freeman Wills Crofts
  • And as he paused now to decide upon his program, he thought of that quartet.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • The quartet had poor Blumpo down on his back and were kicking him as hard as they could.

British Dictionary definitions for quartet


a group of four singers or instrumentalists or a piece of music composed for such a group See string quartet
any group of four: a quartet of fast bowlers
Word Origin
C18: from Italian quartetto, diminutive of quarto fourth
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
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Word Origin and History for quartet

1773, "musical composition for four instruments or voices," from French quartette, from Italian quartetto, diminutive of quarto "fourth," from Latin quartus "fourth" (see quart). Meaning "set of four singers or musical performers" is from 1814.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quartet in Culture

quartet definition

A group of four musicians or singers; also, a piece of music for four instruments or voices.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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