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 quadrennially (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 The campaign was initially turned back in 1986, when FIBA’s member nations, in a 31-27 vote, rejected a proposal to let professionals play in the Olympics and in basketball’s quadrennial world championship. Marc Stein, BostonGlobe.com, "Boris Stankovic, 94, paved way for NBA’s ‘Dream Team’," 23 Mar. 2020 Both systems amount to playing a quadrennial game of Russian roulette with our beleaguered republic. David Goldfischer, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: A Colorado 2020 referendum on presidential voting offers a Hobson’s choice," 8 Oct. 2019 In a state with a quadrennial tradition of nebulous energy metrics — crowd size, lawn signs, the willingness of volunteers to slog through snow to reach one last door — this year’s contest has been especially difficult to gauge. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Democrats Had a 2020 Vision. This Isn’t Quite What They Expected.," 3 Feb. 2020 Today marks the opening of the New Hampshire presidential primary filing period, a quadrennial tradition in the early voting state. Katie Ross Dominick, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Filing period for candidates begins in New Hampshire," 30 Oct. 2019 While this quadrennial tradition in New Hampshire usually follows the script, there’s a chance for some curveballs this time around. Fox News, "New Hampshire primary gets real as candidates flock to file before deadline: Surprises in store?," 30 Oct. 2019 The selection of Milwaukee, which has about 7,000 rooms in downtown where the convention center is located, reflects a trend for both major parties in picking midsize cities for their quadrennial gatherings. John Mccormick, WSJ, "One Year From Democratic Convention, Hunt Is On for Donors—and Hotel Rooms," 12 July 2019 Brubaker is the second Alaskan to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, a quadrennial event first held in 2012. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage teen qualifies for Youth Olympic Games in nordic combined," 12 Dec. 2019 Concord: The quadrennial chaos has quieted down over at the New Hampshire secretary of state’s office with the closing of the filing period for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. USA TODAY, "Nativity on the run, ‘Bag O’Slag,’ kapu aloha: News from around our 50 states," 19 Nov. 2019

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

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quadrennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadrennial. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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