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Latin cardinal numbers
 <  III IV V  > 
    Cardinal : quattuor
    Ordinal : quārtus
    Adverbial : quater
    Multiplier : quadruplex
    Distributive : quadrīnī, quaternī
Latin Wikipedia article on quattuor

Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Italic *kʷettwōr (t duplicated), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷetwṓr, neuter plural of *kʷetwóres. Cognates include Sanskrit चतुर् (catur), Old Armenian չորք (čʿorkʿ), Ancient Greek τέσσαρες (téssares), and Old English fēower (English four).

The change of e to a is unexplained; the expected form would be *quettuor.



quattuor (indeclinable)

  1. (cardinal) four; 4
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.116–118
      Iuppiter antiqui contraxit tempora veris perque hiemes aestusque et inaequalis autumnos et breve ver spatiis exegit quattuor annum.
      Venerable Jove brought together the time of spring and through winter, summer, variable autumn, and brief spring completed the year in four seasons.
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Leviticus.11.23
      quicquid autem ex volucribus quattuor tantum habet pedes execrabile erit vobis
      But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

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See also[edit]


  • quattuor in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • quattuor in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quattuor in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • four successive days: quattuor dies continui
    • to hold out for four months: obsidionem quattuor menses sustinere