on all fours

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

on all fours (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) On one's hands and knees.
    • 1916, Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys Vol. 14: Great Musicians, "Johannes Brahms":
      He was on all fours, with three children on his back, riding him for a horse.
  2. (idiomatic, often followed by "with") Similar in nature or effect to something else; consistent.
    • 1920, Rudyard Kipling, Letters of Travel, ch. 21:
      The new law was precisely on all-fours with the Homestead Act.

Adverb[edit]

on all fours (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) On one's hands and knees.
    • 1897, Joseph Conrad, The Nigger Of The ‘Narcissus’, ch. 3:
      A bulky form was seen rising aft, and began marching on all fours with the movements of some big cautious beast.
  2. (idiomatic, often followed by "with") In a manner which is similar in nature or effect to something else; consistently.
    • 1887, Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders, ch. 39:
      The paternal longing ran on all fours with her own desire.

Related terms[edit]

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