four O.E. feower, from P.Gmc. *petwor- (Cf. O.S. fiwar, O.Fris. fiuwer, Frank. fitter-, Du. and Ger. vier, O.N. fjorir, Dan. fire, Swed. fyra, Goth. fidwor "four"), from PIE *kwetwer- "four" (Cf. Skt. catvarah, Avestan ДЌathwaro, Pers. ДЌatvar, Gk. tessares, L. quattuor, Oscan petora, O.C.S. ДЌetyre, Lith. keturi, O.Ir. cethir, Welsh petguar). The phonetic evolution of the Germanic forms has not been fully explained.
Slang four-eyes "person who wears glasses" first recorded 1874. Four-letter word first attested 1934; four-letter man, however, is recorded from 1923 (as a euphemism for a shit). A four-in-hand (1793) was a carriage with four horses driven by one person; in the sense of "loosely tied necktie" it is attested from 1892. To study The History of the Four Kings (1760, Cf. Fr. Livres des Quatre Rois) contains euphemistic slang phrase for "a pack of cards" from the time when card-playing was considered a wicked pastime for students. Slang 4-1-1 "essential information" (by 1993) is from the telephone number called to get customer information.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • four — four …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • four — [ fur ] n. m. • forn 1080; lat. furnus 1 ♦ Ouvrage de maçonnerie généralement voûté, de forme circulaire, muni d une ouverture par devant, et où l on fait cuire le pain, la pâtisserie, etc. Four de boulanger. Four à pizza. Bouche, gueule d un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • four — 1. (four) s. m. 1°   Ouvrage de maçonnerie rond et voûté, où l on fait cuire le pain. Chauffer le four. •   Chaque jour il allait visiter les fours, goûter le pain, et s assurer de la régularité de toutes les distributions, SÉGUR Hist. de Nap. v …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • four — FOUR. s. m. Lieu vouté en rond, avec une seule ouverture pardevant, & destiné pour y faire cuire le pain, la pastisserie, &c. Four bannal. four à ban, la gueule de four. mettre le pain au four. chauffer le four. faire secher des fruits au four.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • four — [fo: US fo:r] number, n [: Old English; Origin: feower] 1.) the number 4 ▪ She is married with four children. ▪ They arrived just after four (=four o clock) . ▪ Luke will soon be four (=four years old) . 2.) on all fours supporting your body with …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • four — Four, m. Est ce lieu voulté et clos de toutes parts, horsmis en l emboucheure, où on cuict le pain, patisserie, tartes, et choses semblables, Furnus, Clibanus. Mais en fait de vaisseaux de mer, Four est une grande piece de bois qui est entée dans …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Four — Four, n. 1. The sum of four units; four units or objects. [1913 Webster] 2. A symbol representing four units, as 4 or iv. [1913 Webster] 3. Four things of the same kind, esp. four horses; as, a chariot and four. [1913 Webster] {All fours}. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Four — steht für: Le Four, zwei Leuchttürme vor der Französischen Atlantikküste Four (Isère), eine Gemeinde im französischen Departement Isère Four (Album), ein Album der amerikanischen Band Blues Traveler FOUR ist die Abkürzung für: Belnaps vierwertige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • four — [fôr, fōr] adj. [ME < OE feower, akin to Ger vier, Goth fidwōr < IE base * kwetwor > L quattuor, Welsh pedwar] totaling one more than three n. 1. the cardinal number between three and five; 4; IV 2. any group of four people or things 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Four — (f[=o]r), a. [OE. four, fower, feower, AS. fe[ o]wer; akin to OS. fiwar, D. & G. vier, OHG. fior, Icel. fj[=o]rir, Sw. fyra, Dan. fire, Goth. fidw[=o]r, Russ. chetuire, chetvero, W. pedwar, L. quatuor, Gr. te ttares, te ssares, pi syres, Skr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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