Skip to main content
Select Source:

four

four four-colour problem a mathematical problem to prove that any plane map can be coloured with only four colours so that no two same-coloured regions have a common boundary.
four eyes see more than two two people are more observant than one alone (compare two heads are better than one). The saying is recorded from the late 16th century.
four freedoms the four essential human freedoms as proclaimed in a speech to Congress by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse War, Famine, Death, and Pestilence; they are traditionally identified with the riders of the white, red, black, and pale horses seen in Revelation.
four last things in Christian belief, death, judgement, heaven, and hell, as studied in eschatology.
four-letter word any of several short words referring to sexual or excretory functions, regarded as coarse or offensive; the term is recorded from the 1920s.
four noble truths the four central beliefs containing the essence of Buddhist teaching; they are that human life is characterized by frustration and suffering, that the cause of this is desire and greed, that desire must therefore be got rid of, and that following the eightfold path is the way to achieve this.

see also four-leaved clover, First Four Ships at first, there is more to marriage than four bare legs in a bed, the four winds at wind.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"four." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"four." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four

"four." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four

four

four OE. fēower = OS. fi(u)war, fiori, OHG. fior, fier (Du., G. vier), ON. fjórir, Goth. fidwōr, ult. :- IE. *qetwōr-, whence (with vowel-variation) OW. petguar (W. pedwar), OIr. cethir, L. quattuor, Gr. téssares, OSl. c̆etyre, Lith. keturi, Skr. catvā́ra-;
hence fourteen OE. fēowertīne = OS. fiertein (Du. veertien), OHG. fiorzehan (G. vierzehn), ON. fjórtán, Goth, fidwōrtaihun; see -TEEN. fourteenth ME. fourtenþe, repl. OE. fēowertēoða; see -TH2. fourth. OE. fēo(we)rða = OS. fiorðo (Du. vierde), OHG. fiordo (G. vierte). ON. fjórði; see -TH2. Cf. FORTY.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"four." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"four." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-2

"four." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-2

four

four / fôr/ • cardinal number equivalent to the product of two and two; one more than three, or six less than ten; 4: Francesca's got four brothers it took four of them to lift it a four-bedroom house. (Roman numeral: iv, IV, archaic iiii or IIII.) ∎  a group or unit of four people or things: the girls walked in pairs or fours. ∎  four years old: I began to teach myself to read at four. ∎  four o'clock: it's half past four. ∎  a size of garment or other merchandise denoted by four. ∎  a playing card or domino with four spots or pips.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"four." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"four." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-1

"four." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-1

Four

Four

a polo team; a rowing team; a hit at cricket in which four runs are scored, 1836.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Four." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Four." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four

"Four." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four

four

fourabhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, draw, drawer, evermore, explore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, jaw, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, pour, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, score, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, squaw, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"four." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"four." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-0

"four." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/four-0