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Pronunciation:  kwu'turneeun

WordNet Dictionary
[n]  the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one

QUATERNION is a 10 letter word that starts with Q.


 Synonyms: 4, four, foursome, IV, Little Joe, quadruplet, quartet, quatern, quaternary, quaternity, tetrad
 See Also: digit, figure



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Qua*ter"ni*on\, n. [L. quaternio, fr. quaterni four
    each. See {Quaternary}.]
    1. The number four. [Poetic]
    2. A set of four parts, things, or person; four things taken
       collectively; a group of four words, phrases,
       circumstances, facts, or the like.
             Delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers.
                                                   --Acts xii. 4.
             Ye elements, the eldest birth Of Nature's womb, that
             in quaternion run.                    --Milton.
             The triads and quaternions with which he loaded his
             sentences.                            -- Sir W.
    3. A word of four syllables; a quadrisyllable.
    4. (Math.) The quotient of two vectors, or of two directed
       right lines in space, considered as depending on four
       geometrical elements, and as expressible by an algebraic
       symbol of quadrinomial form.
    Note: The science or calculus of quaternions is a new
          mathematical method, in which the conception of a
          quaternion is unfolded and symbolically expressed, and
          is applied to various classes of algebraical,
          geometrical, and physical questions, so as to discover
          theorems, and to arrive at the solution of problems.
          --Sir W. R. Hamilton.
  2. \Qua*ter"ni*on\, v. t.
    To divide into quaternions, files, or companies. --Milton.
Easton Bible Dictionary

a band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.