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[kwo-driv-ee-uh m] /kwɒˈdrɪv i əm/
noun, plural quadrivia
[kwo-driv-ee-uh] /kwɒˈdrɪv i ə/ (Show IPA)
(during the Middle Ages) the more advanced division of the seven liberal arts, comprising arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.
Compare trivium.
Origin of quadrivium
1795-1805; < Late Latin, special use of Latin quadrivium place where four ways meet; see quadri-, via, -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for quadrivium


noun (pl) -ia (-ɪə)
(in medieval learning) the higher division of the seven liberal arts, consisting of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music Compare trivium
Word Origin
from Medieval Latin, from Latin: crossroads, meeting of four ways, from quadri- + via way
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for quadrivium

"arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy," 1804 (see liberal arts), from Latin quadrivium, which meant "place where four roads meet, crossroads," from quadri- "four" (see quadri-) + via "way, road, channel, course" (see via). The adjective quadrivial is attested from late 15c. in English with the sense "having four roads."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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