quaternary

adjective
qua·​ter·​na·​ry | \ ˈkwä-tər-ˌner-ē How to pronounce quaternary (audio) , ˈkwä-tə-, kwə-ˈtər-nə-rē How to pronounce quaternary (audio) \

Definition of quaternary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or consisting of four units or members
b : of, relating to, or being a number system with a base of four
2 capitalized : of, relating to, or being the geologic period from the end of the Tertiary to the present time or the corresponding system of rocks — see Geologic Time Table
3 : consisting of, containing, or being an atom bonded to four other atoms

quaternary

noun
plural quaternaries

Definition of quaternary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : the Quaternary period or system of rocks
2 : a member of a group fourth in order or rank

Examples of quaternary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective El Centro Regional is not a tertiary or quaternary care center, meaning it’s not a hospital with extensive specialty service or care. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, "‘Like drowning in slow motion’: Life on the ground at one of America’s hardest-hit COVID-19 hospitals," 1 Dec. 2020 Snee's chemical blenders then began working to develop a new combination of quaternary ammonium compounds that could be proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 and therefore be allowed by the EPA to label their product as such. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Snee Chemical sees demand boom for EPA-approved COVID-killer disinfectant," 21 Aug. 2020 SurfaceWise2′s active ingredient is quaternary ammonium, which is widely used as a disinfectant in hospitals against bacteria, fungi and certain viruses. Ashton Nichols, Dallas News, "Dallas company touts its spray-on coating as a COVID-19 killer for surfaces," 2 June 2020 The National Institutes of Health has designated quaternary ammonium as asthma-causing and irritable to eyes and skin, flammable and corrosive, harmful to aquatic ecosystems, and persistent in the environment. Ashton Nichols, Dallas News, "Dallas company touts its spray-on coating as a COVID-19 killer for surfaces," 2 June 2020 But Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, also wonders what happens to the long-lasting quaternary ammonium coatings over time. Michele Cohen Marill, Wired, "3 Ways Scientists Think We Could De-Germ a Covid-19 World," 27 May 2020 Tetro says to look for active ingredients such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium chloride, and phenolics. Rachel Chang, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Clean Your Luggage After a Trip, Because Germs," 20 Apr. 2020 Ciochon's research team combined forces with geochronologist and quaternary scientist Kira Westaway's team also working at the site. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The last of the first humans to walk upright have been discovered," 18 Dec. 2019 The industry standard for wipes and sprays is a solution that contains quaternary ammonium, an anti-bacterial compound. Scott Douglas, Washington Post, "Your gym is teeming with invisible members: Germs. Here’s how to avoid them.," 29 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Today's PT lumber is treated with safer, less toxic chemicals, such as alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose a Deck Material That Is Right for You," 6 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quaternary.' 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 quaternary

Adjective

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quaternary

Adjective

Latin quaternarius, from quaterni four each

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Time Traveler for quaternary

Time Traveler

The first known use of quaternary was in 1605

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Statistics for quaternary

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quaternary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quaternary. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for quaternary

quaternary

adjective
qua·​ter·​na·​ry | \ ˈkwät-ə(r)-ˌner-ē How to pronounce quaternary (audio) , kwə-ˈtər-nə-rē How to pronounce quaternary (audio) \

Medical Definition of quaternary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: consisting of, containing, or being an atom bonded to four other atoms

quaternary

noun
plural quaternaries

Medical Definition of quaternary (Entry 2 of 2)

Comments on quaternary

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