qua·​ter·​ni·​on | \ kwə-ˈtər-nē-ən How to pronounce quaternion (audio) , kwä-\

Definition of quaternion

1 : a set of four parts, things, or persons
2 : any of a set of numbers that comprise a four-dimensional vector space with a basis consisting of the real number 1 and three imaginary units i, j, k, that follow special rules of multiplication, and that are used especially in computer graphics, robotics, and animation to rotate objects in three dimensions

First Known Use of quaternion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quaternion

Middle English quaternyoun, from Late Latin quaternion-, quaternio, from Latin quaterni four each, from quater four times; akin to Latin quattuor four — more at four

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The first known use of quaternion was in the 14th century

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