[ kwod-ruh nt ]
/ ˈkwɒd rənt /


Origin of quadrant

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin quadrant- (stem of quadrāns) fourth part


quad·ran·tal [kwo-dran-tl] /kwɒˈdræn tl/, adjectivequad·rant·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for quadrantal

  • The errors of the compass in an iron ship are mainly the semicircular error and the quadrantal error.

    Lord Kelvin|Andrew Gray

British Dictionary definitions for quadrantal

/ (ˈkwɒdrənt) /


  1. a quarter of the circumference of a circle
  2. the area enclosed by two perpendicular radii of a circle and its circumference
  3. any of the four sections into which a plane is divided by two coordinate axes
a piece of a mechanism in the form of a quarter circle, esp one used as a cam or a gear sector
an instrument formerly used in astronomy and navigation for measuring the altitudes of stars, consisting of a graduated arc of 90° and a sighting mechanism attached to a movable arm

Derived forms of quadrant

quadrantal (kwɒˈdræntəl), adjective

Word Origin for quadrant

C14: from Latin quadrāns a quarter
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

Medical definitions for quadrantal

[ kwŏdrənt ]


A circular arc of 90 degrees; one fourth of the circumference of a circle.
A quarter portion of any roughly circular anatomical area such as the abdomen, measuring along imaginary axes at right angles to each other.

Other words from quadrant

quad•rantic (kwŏ-drăntĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for quadrantal

[ kwŏdrənt ]

An arc equal to one quarter of the circumference of a circle; an arc of 90°.
Any of the four regions into which a plane is divided by the axes of a Cartesian coordinate system. The quadrants are numbered counterclockwise one through four, beginning with the quadrant in which both the x- and y-coordinates are positive (usually the upper right quadrant).
A navigational instrument similar to a sextant but with an arc of 90° rather than 60°. See more at sextant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.