- a group or set of four persons or things.
- Bookbinding. four gathered sheets folded in two for binding together.
- an expression of the form a + bi + cj + dk, where a, b, c, and d are real numbers; i2 = j2 = k2 = −1; and ij = −ji = k, jk = −kj = i, and ki = −ik = j.
- a quantity or operator expressed as the sum of a real number and three complex numbers, equivalent to the quotient of two vectors. The field of quaternions is not commutative under multiplication.
Origin of quaternion
1350–1400; Middle English quaternioun < Late Latin quaterniōn- (stem of quaterniō), equivalent to Latin quatern(ī) four at a time + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordstetralogy, tetrad, quaternity, quadrivium, quadruplet, quadruple, quaternion, quaternary, quadrumvirate, quartet, quadrigeminal
Examples from the Web for quaternion
Even then the captain of the gate was replying to a question from the quaternion.Ulric the Jarl
William O. Stoddard
Should neither player be able to form a quaternion, then the game is drawn.
The quaternion was a gathering of four sheets of vellum, each folded once; thus forming sixteen pages.Illuminated Manuscripts in Classical and Mediaeval Times
J. Henry Middleton
William Hare, the second of our quaternion, was also a native of Ireland, having been born in the neighbourhood of Londonderry.The Court of Cacus
As regard class of the first quaternion, like Sancho Panza I have no intention of indicating how old these may be.Legends & Romances of Spain
- maths a generalized complex number consisting of four components, x = x 0 + x 1 i + x 2 j + x 3 k, where x, x 0 … x 3 are real numbers and i² = j² = k² = –1, ij = –ji = k, etc
- another word for quaternary (def. 5)
C14: from Late Latin quaterniōn, from Latin quaternī four at a time
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
- 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 that multiplication is not commutative.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.