- consisting of four; in sets of four
- designating or of the third geologic period of the Cenozoic Era, characterized by a series of ice ages, the first toolmaking cultures, and the rise of modern human culture
- designating a compound or alloy containing four different components or elements: quaternary silver
- being, of, or containing an atom linked to four carbon atoms: a quaternary nitrogen atom
Origin of quaternaryClassical Latin quaternarius ; from quaterni, four together, four each ; from quater, four times ; from base of quattuor, four
- the number four
- a set of four
the Quaternary Period or its rocks
- Consisting of four; in fours.
- Quaternary Of, relating to, or being the period of geologic time from about 1.8 million years ago to the present, the more recent of the two periods of the Cenozoic Era. It is characterized by the appearance and development of humans and includes the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs. See Table at geologic time.
- Chemistry Relating to a nonhydrogen atom bonded to four other nonhydrogen atoms, especially to four carbon atoms: a quarternary nitrogen atom.
- The number four.
- The member of a group that is fourth in order.
- Quaternary The Quaternary Period.
Origin of quaternaryLatin quaternarius, from quatern&imacron;, by fours, from quater, four times; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.