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From Anglo-Norman cotidian, cotidien, Middle French cotidian, cotidien, and their source, Latin cottīdiānus, quōtīdiānus (happening every day), from adverb cottīdiē, quōtīdiē (every day, daily), from an unattested adjective derived from quot (how many) + locative form of diēs (day).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kwəˈtɪdɪən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /kwɵˈtɪdɪən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪdiən


quotidian (comparative more quotidian, superlative most quotidian)

  1. Happening every day; daily. [from 15th c.]
    Synonyms: circadian, diurnal, everyday
    • 2000 July 10, Marcel Berline, The Guardian:
      I know that the government's daily idea to solve the country's law and order problem is not meant to be taken too seriously, but every now and again I am moved to raise an eyebrow at the quotidian suggestion.
  2. Having the characteristics of something which can be seen, experienced, etc, every day or very commonly. [from 15th c.]
    Synonyms: commonplace, everyday, mundane, normal, ordinary
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 102:
      The story or the painting would serve to connect the part with the whole, the event with the myth, the quotidian with the sacred.
    • 2002, Russ McDonald, edited by McEachern, The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, page 28:
      Tragedy demanded verse, not the quotidian prose of comedy, and verse usually supplied some form of end rhyme.
    • 2010, Steven Heller, Eddie S Glaude, Becoming a Graphic Designer:
      Grids are used for such quotidian items as stationery, business cards, mailing labels, hang tags, instruction manuals, etc.
    • 2015, Alexander Stille, “The World’s Oldest Papyrus and What It Can Tell Us About the Great Pyramids”, in Smithsonian Magazine[1], volume October 2015, Smithsonian Institution:
      They are finding the remains of ovens for smelting copper and preparing food as well as quotidian objects such as mats and storage pots.
  3. (medicine) Recurring every twenty-four hours or (more generally) daily (of symptoms, etc). [from 14th c.]
    Synonyms: circadian, diurnal
    Coordinate terms: quartan, tertian
    • 1898, Patrick Manson, Tropical Diseases, page 104:
      Quotidian periodicity we find in greater or less degree in nearly all fevers, particularly in fevers associated with suppuration.
    • 1941, American Journal of Tropical Medicine, volume XXI:
      I regret that the effect of these statements is a denial of the observation of initial quotidian paroxysms following artificial inoculation.



quotidian (plural quotidians)

  1. (medicine, now rare, historical) A fever which recurs every day; quotidian malaria. [from 14th c.]
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, As You Like It:
      If I could meet that Fancie-monger, I would giue him some good counsel, for he seemes to haue the Quotidian of Loue vpon him.
    • 1671, Robnert Boyle, Usefulness of Experimental Natural Philosophy, Part II:
      I myself was, about two years since, strangely cured of a violent quotidian, which all the wonted method of physick had not so much abated, by applying to my wrists a mixture of two handfuls of bay-salt, two handfuls of the freshest English hops, and a quarter of a pound of blue currants []
  2. (Anglicanism, historical) A daily allowance formerly paid to certain members of the clergy. [from 16th c.]
  3. (usually with definite article) Commonplace or mundane things regarded as a class. [from 20th c.]
    • 2005 September 21, Lucy Mangan, “Has Lost lost the plot?”, in The Guardian[2]:
      More than opposable thumbs and the invention of the flinthead axe, it was our ability to transcend the quotidian by weaving tales of awe and wonder that set us apart from the beasts.
    • 2018 December 12, Charles Bramesco, “A Spoonful of Nostalgia Helps the Calculated Mary Poppins Returns Go Down”, in The A.V. Club[3], archived from the original on 24 May 2019:
      She does the same thing as any parent worth their salt, and gets rambunctious youngsters engaged in daily drudgeries by refashioning the quotidian as adventure.


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quotidian (comparative plus quotidian, superlative le plus quotidian)

  1. daily

Derived terms[edit]