• WordNet 3.6
    • adj quaternary coming next after the third and just before the fifth in position or time or degree or magnitude "the quaternary period of geologic time extends from the end of the tertiary period to the present"
    • adj quaternary consisting of or especially arranged in sets of four "quaternate leaves","a quaternary compound"
    • n quaternary the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one
    • n Quaternary last 2 million years
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Quaternary Consisting of four; by fours, or in sets of four.
    • Quaternary (Geol) Later than, or subsequent to, the Tertiary; Post-tertiary; as, the Quaternary age, or Age of man.
    • Quaternary The number four.
    • Quaternary (Geol) The Quaternary age, era, or formation. See the Chart of Geology.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • quaternary Consisting of four; arranged or grouped in fours.
    • quaternary [capitalized] In geology, noting that part of the geological series which is more recent than the Tertiary; Post-tertiary. (See Tertiary.) The oldest and most general division of the Quaternary is into diluvial and alluvial, by which terms are meant respectively coarse detrital material and fine detrital material—the one the result of rapid, the other of slower currents of water. The former presence of ice, both fixed and floating, over a part of the northern hemisphere, and especially in the regions where geology was earliest cultivated, has greatly complicated the question of this division of the Quaternary into subgroups or epochs. Thus diluvial has come to be replaced for the most part by glacial; and some English geologists divide the Quaternary into glacial and recent, using the term Pleistocene also as the equivalent of glacial. The term recent has also as its synonym both alluvial and human. While the essential difference between Tertiary and Quaternary is theoretically supposed to be that in the former a portion of the fossil species are extinct, while in the latter all are living, this does not apply in the case of land-animals, especially the mammals. In fact, there is, over extensive areas, great difficulty in deciding the question whether certain formations shall be called Tertiary or Quaternary, as, for instance, in the case of the Pampean deposits, which, although containing great numbers of species of mammals all or nearly all extinct, are generally considered by geologists as being of Quaternary age.
    • quaternary In old chemistry, noting those compounds which contained four elements, as fibrin, gelatin, etc.
    • quaternary In mathematics, containing, as a quantic, or homogeneous integral function, four variables. A surface may be called a quaternary locus, because defined by a quaternary equation, or one equating a quaternary quantic to zero.
    • n quaternary A group of four things.
    • quaternary Fourfold or tetragonal: said of the symmetry of crystals. See symmetry, 6.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Quaternary kwa-tėr′nar-i consisting of four: by fours: pertaining to strata more recent than the Upper Tertiary:
    • n Quaternary a group of four things
    • v.t Quaternary to divide into quaternions:
    • adj Quaternary kwa-tėr′nar-i (math.) containing four variables
    • v.t Quaternary (Milt.) to divide into companies
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. quaternarius, consisting of four each, containing four, fr. quaterni, four each, fr. quattuor, four: cf. F. quaternaire,. See Four


In literature:

One wonders if the Fourth (Quaternary) Era in which we live will be similarly shortened.
"The Story of Evolution" by Joseph McCabe
This ushered in the Quaternary period, during which very slowly the temperature came to its present degree.
"History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science" by John William Draper
Therefore the Pythagoreans say that their most sacred oath is by that god who delivered to them the quaternary.
"Essays and Miscellanies" by Plutarch
This subdivision is still sometimes separated from the Tertiary, as the Quaternary epoch.
"The Geological Evidence of The Antiquity of Man" by Charles Lyell
Of the two lower Syzygies, or Lower Quaternary of the Aeons, we have no details from the Fathers.
"Simon Magus" by George Robert Stow Mead
In Europe abundant remains of horses are found in the Quaternary and later Tertiary strata as far as the Pliocene formation.
"American Addresses, with a Lecture on the Study of Biology" by Thomas Henry Huxley
The last 200 feet or so of deposits we call the Pleistocene or Quaternary; the rest are known as the Tertiary strata.
"More Science From an Easy Chair" by Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
Then, about the beginning of the Quaternary Period, came the biggest convulsion of all.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
And the bones of man himself appear, extending through what is known as the Quaternary or Pleistocene period.
"Man And His Ancestor" by Charles Morris
This is divided into two quite distinct sections, the Tertiary and the Quaternary.
"The Meaning of Evolution" by Samuel Christian Schmucker

In news:

Quaternary Ammonium Compound for Hair Shine, Color and Condition.
Distearyldimethylammonium chloride or DSDMAC (INCI: Distearyldimonium Chloride ) is a twin-tailed fatty quaternary ammonium organic compound or fatty quat.
Designed to extend protection in production areas between sanitary clean-ups, Chemetall Oakite's FiSan Quat Treat is a phosphate -free, quaternary ammonium chloride-based floor treatment product.
Chemetall Oakite's Fisan Quat Treat is a phosphate -free, quaternary ammonium chloride-based floor treatment designed to extend protection in production areas between sanitary clean-ups.
KISSIMMEE, FL — The Clorox Company has announced the introduction of Clorox Commercial Solutions Clorox Broad Spectrum Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner, according to a press release.
Quaternary Ammonium Compound for Hair Shine, Color and Condition.
A Novel Method for the Quaternary Structure Determination from Small-Angle Scattering Data.
Evidence for a likely 50,000-year-old Neanderthal burial ground that includes the remains of at least three individuals has been unearthed in Spain, according to a Quaternary International paper.
Plate cenozoic quaternary volcanism in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Polishing in antibody production is usually performed on quaternary ammonium (Q) membranes in flow-through mode, since the overall speed and productivity is much higher than on traditional anion-exchange columns.
Marine and continental changes during the Late Quaternary.

In science:

As with a classical code, decoding of a stabilizer code involves measuring a set of (n − k)/2 F4 -syndromes Sj = hL(E), gj i ∈ F4 , where {gj } is a set of (n − k)/2 generators of C , and hL(E), gj i denotes the Hermitian inner product of gj with a quaternary error label sequence L(E).
Simple Rate-1/3 Convolutional and Tail-Biting Quantum Error-Correcting Codes
Transition temperatures in these quaternary intermetallic compounds can be as high as 17 K.
Route to Room-Temperature Superconductivity from a Practical Point of View
However, in many circumstances a binary or quaternary modulation is used, and the normal assumption is therefore unrealistic.
Estimating Random Variables from Random Sparse Observations
Ramanujan generalized this theorem and found 54 positive definite quaternary quadratic forms which represent all positive integers .
Simple proofs for universal binary Hermitian lattices
So we will show the universalities of the seven quaternary quadratic forms.
Simple proofs for universal binary Hermitian lattices