four

[fawr, fohr]

noun

adjective

amounting to four in number.

Nearby words

  1. fouquet, jean,
  2. fouquet, nicolas,
  3. fouquier-tinville,
  4. fouquier-tinville, antoine quentin,
  5. fouqué,
  6. four bits,
  7. four corners,
  8. four corners of the earth, the,
  9. four flush,
  10. four freedoms

Idioms

    on all fours. all fours(def 3).

Origin of four

before 1000; Middle English four, fower, Old English fēower; cognate with Old High German fior (German vier), Gothic fidwor; akin to Latin quattuor, Greek tésseres (Attic téttares)

Can be confusedfor fore four

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for four


British Dictionary definitions for four

four

noun

the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one
a numeral, 4, IV, etc, representing this number
something representing, represented by, or consisting of four units, such as a playing card with four symbols on it
Also called: four o'clock four hours after noon or midnight
cricket
  1. a shot that crosses the boundary after hitting the ground
  2. the four runs scored for such a shot
rowing
  1. a racing shell propelled by four oarsmen pulling one oar each, with or without a cox
  2. the crew of such a shell

determiner

  1. amounting to fourfour thousand eggs; four times
  2. (as pronoun)four are ready
Related formsRelated prefixes: quadri-, tetra-

Word Origin for four

Old English fēower; related to Old Frisian fiūwer, Old Norse fjōrir, Old High German fior, Latin quattuor, Greek tessares, Sanskrit catur

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

Word Origin and History for four

four

n.

Old English feower, from Proto-Germanic *petwor- (cf. Old Saxon fiwar, Old Frisian fiuwer, Frankish *fitter-, Dutch and German vier, Old Norse fjorir, Danish fire, Swedish fyra, Gothic fidwor "four"), from PIE *kwetwer- "four" (cf. Sanskrit catvarah, Avestan čathwaro, Persian čatvar, Greek tessares, Latin quattuor, Oscan petora, Old Church Slavonic četyre, Lithuanian keturi, Old Irish cethir, Welsh pedwar). The phonetic evolution of the Germanic forms has not been fully explained.

Slang four-eyes "person who wears glasses" first recorded 1874. Four-letter word first attested 1934; four-letter man, however, is recorded from 1923 (as a euphemism for a shit). A four-in-hand (1793) was a carriage with four horses driven by one person; in the sense of "loosely tied necktie" it is attested from 1892. To study The History of the Four Kings (1760, cf. French Livres des Quatre Rois) contains euphemistic slang phrase for "a pack of cards" from the time when card-playing was considered a wicked pastime for students. Slang 4-1-1 "essential information" (by 1993) is from the telephone number called to get customer information.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with four

four

In addition to the idioms beginning with four

  • four corners of the earth, the

also see:

  • between you and me and (the four walls)
  • on all fours
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.