qua·​dren·​ni·​al kwä-ˈdre-nē-əl How to pronounce quadrennial (audio)
: consisting of or lasting for four years
: occurring or being done every four years
quadrennial noun
quadrennially 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 This is the 13th edition of the One Day International cricket tournament, which is a quadrennial event. Tim Chan, Variety, 2 Nov. 2023 Even those playing a level or three below the World Cup find this the best part of the quadrennial period. Victor Mather, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 Full Play, incorporated in Uruguay and owned by the father-son duo Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, is accused of paying bribes for the rights to the Copa America, a quadrennial national team competition, as well as World Cup qualifying matches and one-off matches, known as friendlies. Michael R. Sisak, Fortune, 18 Jan. 2023 Those are the questions for every competitor at this quadrennial kickaround. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2023 Portugal’s women’s soccer team had to play 13 qualifying matches to earn its first World Cup appearance, winning five in a row to make it to the quadrennial tournament for the first time. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2023 In Indiana, the county assessor must determine land values and submit them to the county’s Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals prior to each quadrennial reassessment. Carrie Napoleon, Chicago Tribune, 12 Aug. 2022 When questioned by the board, Lake County Assessor LaTonya Spearman clarified the values posted in 2018 would have been for the quadrennial cycle ending in 2022, while the base values posted this year are for the upcoming quadrennial cycle. Carrie Napoleon, Chicago Tribune, 12 Aug. 2022 That burger’s tenure was later extended to celebrate Messi’s first global quadrennial tournament win. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 12 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quadrennial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quadrennial was circa 1656


Dictionary Entries Near quadrennial

Cite this Entry

“Quadrennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadrennial. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!