quaternion (kwəˈtɜːnɪən) | |
—n | |
1. | maths a generalized complex number consisting of four components, x = x_{0} + x_{1}i + x_{2}j + x_{3}k, where x, x_{0}…x_{3} are real numbers and i² = j² = k² = --1, ij = --ji = k, etc |
2. | another word for quaternary |
[C14: from Late Latin quaterniōn, from Latin quaternī four at a time] |
quaternion (kwə-tûr'nē-ən) Pronunciation Key
Any number of the form a + bi + cj + dk where a, b, c, and d are real numbers, ij = k, i^{2} = j^{2} = -1, and ij = -ji. Under addition and multiplication, quaternions have all the properties of a field, except that multiplication is not commutative. |
a band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.