adjective qua·dren·ni·al \kwä-ˈdre-nē-əl\

Definition of quadrennial

  1. 1 :  consisting of or lasting for four years

  2. 2 :  occurring or being done every four years




play \kwä-ˈdre-nē-ə-lē\ adverb

quadrennial was our Word of the Day on 12/19/2009. Hear the podcast!

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."

Circa 1656

First Known Use of quadrennial

circa 1656

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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