1 [kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
a square dance for four couples, consisting of five parts or movements, each complete in itself.
the music for such a dance.

1730–40; < French < Spanish cuadrilla company, troop, diminutive of cuadra square < Latin quadra

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2 [kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
a card game played by four persons.

1720–30; < French < Spanish cuartillo, diminutive of cuarto fourth < Latin quartus


3 [kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
ruled in squares, as graph paper.

1880–85; < French quadrillé, past participle of quadriller to rule in squares, derivative of quadrille lozenge < Spanish cuadrilla; see quadrille1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
quadrille1 (kwɒˈdrɪl, kwə-)
1.  a square dance of five or more figures for four or more couples
2.  a piece of music for such a dance, alternating between simple duple and compound duple time
[C18: via French from Spanish cuadrilla, diminutive of cuadro square, from Latin quadra]

quadrille2 (kwɒˈdrɪl, kwə-)
an old card game for four players
[C18: from French, from Spanish cuartillo, from cuarto fourth, from Latin quartus, influenced by quadrille1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1773, "lively square dance for four couples," from Fr. quadrille, originally one of four groups of horsemen in a tournament (a sense attested in Eng. from 1738), from Sp. cuadrilla, dim. of cuadro "four-sided battle square," from L. quadrum "a square," related to quattuor "four" (see
four). The craze for the dance hit England in 1816, and it underwent a vigorous revival late 19c. among the middle classes. Earlier a popular card game for four hands (1726).
"Quadrille began to take the place of ombre as the fashionable card game about 1726, and was in turn superseded by whist." [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It is truly a notebook to be used by a quadrille caller.
Berenice excelled in cowgirl horse races, quadrille, and trick riding.
Proposed replacement will have rust-finished posts and quadrille steel wire between.
They do not call for a quadrille, but seem to know it by heart.
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