n. & adj.
n. 1 one more than three, or six less than ten; the product of two units and two units. 2 a symbol for this (4, iv, IV, rarely iiii, IIII). 3 a size etc. denoted by four. 4 a four-oared rowing-boat or its crew. 5 the time of four o'clock (is it four yet?). 6 a card with four pips. 7 a hit at cricket scoring four runs.
adj. that amount to four. four-eyes sl. a person wearing glasses. four-flush US Cards a poker hand of little value, having four cards of the same suit and one of another. four-flusher US a bluffer or humbug. four hundred US the social élite of a community. four-in-hand 1 a vehicle with four horses driven by one person. 2 US a necktie worn with a knot and two hanging ends superposed. four-leaf (or -leaved) clover a clover leaf with four leaflets thought to bring good luck. four-letter word any of several short words referring to sexual or excretory functions, regarded as coarse or offensive. four o'clock = marvel of Peru. four-part Mus. arranged for four voices to sing or instruments to play. four-poster a bed with a post at each corner supporting a canopy. four-square adj. 1 solidly based. 2 steady, resolute; forthright. 3 square-shaped.
adv. steadily, resolutely. four-stroke (of an internal-combustion engine) having a cycle of four strokes (intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust). four-wheel drive drive acting on all four wheels of a vehicle. on all fours on hands and knees.
[ OE feower f. Gmc ]