[fawr, fohr]
a cardinal number, three plus one.
a symbol of this number, 4 or IV or IIII.
a set of this many persons or things.
a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with four pips.
fours, Jazz. alternate four-bar passages, as played in sequence by different soloists: with guitar and piano trading fours.
an automobile powered by a four-cylinder engine.
the engine itself.
amounting to four in number.
on all fours. all fours ( def 3 ).

before 1000; Middle English four, fower, Old English fēower; cognate with Old High German fior (German vier), Gothic fidwor; akin to Latin quattuor, Greek tésseres (Attic téttares)

for, fore, four. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To fours
World English Dictionary
four (fɔː)
1.  the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one
2.  a numeral, 4, IV, etc, representing this number
3.  something representing, represented by, or consisting of four units, such as a playing card with four symbols on it
4.  Also called: four o'clock four hours after noon or midnight
5.  cricket
 a.  a shot that crosses the boundary after hitting the ground
 b.  the four runs scored for such a shot
6.  rowing
 a.  a racing shell propelled by four oarsmen pulling one oar each, with or without a cox
 b.  the crew of such a shell
7.  a.  amounting to four: four thousand eggs; four times
 b.  (as pronoun): four are ready
Related: quadri-, tetra-
[Old English fēower; related to Old Frisian fiūwer, Old Norse fjōrir, Old High German fior, Latin quattuor, Greek tessares, Sanskrit catur]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. feower, from P.Gmc. *petwor- (cf. O.S. fiwar, O.Fris. fiuwer, Frank. fitter-, Du. and Ger. vier, O.N. fjorir, Dan. fire, Sw. fyra), from PIE *qwetwor (cf. Skt. catvarah, Avestan čathwaro, Pers. čatvar, Gk. tessares, L. quattuor, Oscan petora, O.C.S. četyre, Lith. keturi, O.Ir. cethir,
Welsh petguar). The phonetic evolution of the Germanic forms has not been fully explained. Slang four-eyes "person who wears glasses" first recorded 1874. Four-flusher is 1904, from verb four-flush "to bluff a poker hand, claim a flush with only four cards in the suit" (1896). Four-letter word first attested 1934; four-letter man, however, is recorded from 1923 (as a euphemism for a shit). A four-in-hand (1793) was a carriage with four horses driven by one person; in the sense of "loosely tied necktie" it is attested from 1892. To study The History of the Four Kings (1760, cf. Fr. Livres des Quatre Rois) contains euphemistic slang phrase for "a pack of cards" from the time when card-playing was considered a wicked pastime for students. Slang 4-1-1 is from the telephone number called to get customer information.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature