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[kwod-ruh-lat-er-uh l] /ˌkwɒd rəˈlæt ər əl/
having four sides.
a plane figure having four sides and four angles.
something of this form.
  1. a figure formed by four straight lines that have six points of intersection.
  2. a polygon with four sides.
the space enclosed between and defended by four fortresses.
Origin of quadrilateral
1640-50; < Latin quadrilater(us) four-sided + -al1. See quadri-, lateral
Related forms
quadrilaterally, adverb
quadrilateralness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quadrilateral
  • It is not a parallelogram, for it is not a right-lined quadrilateral figure.
  • The good news is that the quadrilateral world, for all its power struggles, is unlikely to resort to all-out war.
  • Their cardinal positions and the quadrilateral symmetry seemed to say that nothing else would be permitted to go in those spaces.
  • In longitudinal section they are quadrilateral in shape, being about twice as long as they are broad.
  • When the forearm is flexed the upper quadrilateral surface is palpable, but during extension it recedes into the olecranon fossa.
  • They will create a transparency that names the quadrilateral and its characteristics, and illustrates the diagonals and midpoints.
  • The diagonal divides the original quadrilateral into two triangles.
  • The normal area vector is usually easily defined for a quadrilateral or triangular cell face.
  • Explain that you will be giving them an area and they must draw a quadrilateral that has that area.
  • For a cyclic quadrilateral, the exterior angle is equal to the interior opposite angle.
British Dictionary definitions for quadrilateral


having or formed by four sides
Also called tetragon. a polygon having four sides. A complete quadrilateral consists of four lines and their six points of intersection
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quadrilateral

"four-sided," 1640s, with -al (1) + Latin quadrilaterus, from quadri- "four" (see quadri-) + latus (genitive lateris) "side" (see oblate (n.)). As an adjective from 1650s. Related: Quadrilaterally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quadrilateral in Science
A polygon that has four sides, such as a rectangle or rhombus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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