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Meaning of quaternary

quat•er•nar•y

Pronunciation: (kwot'ur-ner"ē, kwu-tûr'nu-rē), [key]
— adj., n., pl. -nar•ies.
—adj.
  1. consisting of four.
  2. arranged in fours.
  3. (cap.)noting or pertaining to the present period of earth history, forming the latter part of the Cenozoic Era, originating about 2 million years ago and including the Recent and Pleistocene Epochs. See table under
  4. (of an alloy) having four principal constituents.
—n.
  1. a group of four.
  2. the number four.
  3. (cap.)the Quaternary Period or System.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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