English edit

Etymology edit

From four +‎ -ling.

Noun edit

fourling (plural fourlings)

  1. (obsolete, rare) One of four children born at the same birth; a quadruplet.
    • 1842, “Sweden as it is; Moral, Political and Statistical”, in The Foreign Quarterly Review, volume 28, number 55, page 449:
      Every 67th lying-in woman has twins, every 5333rd has trillings, and only every 150,000th has fourlings.
    • 1922, The Goat World, Devoted to the Upbuilding of the Goat Industry, page 67:
      this breed is prominent for its remarkable fecundity and yield of milk; as a rule, this goat litters once a year and drops 2 kids; occasionally trillings and fourlings.
    • 1929, Hans Dreisch (W.H. Johnston), Man and the Universe, page 93:
      If the two or the four first cells into which the animal ovum divides during the process of so-called cleavage be separated from one another, then each of these cells grows into a small but complete organism. Conversely, if two ova be caused to amalgamate with parallel axes, the result is a "giant". What is the meaning of this? It is, that the material which, if left undisturbed, would have grown into one, can grow into many-into twins or into fourlings. And similarly the material destined for many may furnish one only.
  2. (crystallography) A compound or twin crystal consisting of four individuals.

Anagrams edit