four

Definitions

General English

Cricket

  • noun an instance of the ball crossing the boundary after bouncing at least once, especially when hit by the batsman but also as a bye, wide, or leg-bye, or as the result of an overthrow. The umpire signals a four to the scorers by waving the hand from side to side, and four runs are added to the score of the batsman or team as appropriate.
    See boundary

Food

Origin & History of “four”

The distant Indo-European ancestor of English four was *qwetwōr-, which also produced Latin quattuor (whence French quatre, Italian quattro, Spanish cuatro, etc), Greek téssares, Sanskrit catvāras, Russian chetvero, and Welsh pedwar. Its Germanic descendant was *petwor-, from which come German and Dutch vier, Swedish fyra, and English four. Amongst the word’s perhaps more surprising relatives in English are carfax ‘crossroads’ (ultimately from a post-classical Latin compound which meant literally ‘four forks’), quarantine (denoting etymologically a ‘period of 40 days’), quire ‘set of four sheets of paper’, and trapeze (literally ‘four-footed’).
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