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  1. a stanza or poem of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes.
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Origin of quatrain

1575–85; < French, equivalent to quatre four (< Latin quattuor) + -ain < Latin -ānus -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for quatrain


  1. a stanza or poem of four lines, esp one having alternate rhymes
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Word Origin

C16: from French, from quatre four, from Latin quattuor
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 quatrain


1580s, from Middle French quatrain "four-line stanza" (16c.), from Old French quatre "four," from Latin quattuor "four" (see four).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper