qua·​dren·​ni·​al | \ kwä-ˈdre-nē-əl How to pronounce quadrennial (audio) \

Definition of quadrennial

1 : consisting of or lasting for four years
2 : occurring or being done every four years

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Other Words from quadrennial

quadrennial noun
quadrennially \ kwä-​ˈdre-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce quadrennial (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Most things quadrennial occur every four years (that's the more common use). We can say, for example, that the U.S. presidential election is a quadrennial event. But we can also say that president's term in office is quadrennial, making good use of the "lasting four years" sense. The Latin combining form quadri- adds a factor of four to many English words: quadriceps (the thigh muscle, which has four parts), quadrilateral (a four-sided polygon), quadragenarian (a person in his or her 40s), and quadricentennial (a 400th anniversary), to name a few. The -ennial part of quadrennial has the same root as in biennial and centennial; all trace back to annus, the Latin word for "year."

Examples of quadrennial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web First, Alabama is due for its quadrennial purge, which follows every presidential election. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Whitmire: The fuse John Merrill’s downfall lit," 18 Apr. 2021 And attendance was capped at roughly 100, a fraction of the media horde that usually descends on these quadrennial events. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Mutual contempt at first Trump-Biden debate, where death and taxes also feature prominently," 30 Sep. 2020 Parties traditionally beg news outlets to cover as much of the quadrennial events as possible, Goeas reminded the Washington Examiner. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Media lockout at Republican convention spurs concern among GOP faithful," 3 Aug. 2020 Scientific governance is not a traditional strong suit of USGCRP, which is most well known for producing the quadrennial National Climate Assessment. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "U.S. needs solar geoengineering research program, National Academies says," 25 Mar. 2021 Some of the traditional trappings of the quadrennial ceremony will remain. Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Facing crush of crises, Joe Biden will take helm as president," 20 Jan. 2021 A few weeks later, the Olympics would postpone their quadrennial games. NBC News, "Data shows the costs of year-long economic shutdown," 7 Mar. 2021 Some have persisted for so long that they are taken for granted as inherent and necessary to our democracy, such as the Electoral College—that quadrennial coup d’état. Clio Chang, The New Republic, "Democrats Shouldn’t Just Restore American Democracy. They Should Reinvent It.," 9 Jan. 2021 One of the highest-visibility classical music competitions in the world, the quadrennial Fort Worth contest had never before been delayed in its nearly 60-year history. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Cliburn Piano Competition postponed to 2022," 22 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quadrennial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quadrennial

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of quadrennial was circa 1656

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quadrennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadrennial. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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