1820 as a shortening of quadrangle (n.) in the building sense (in this case "quadrangle of a college," Oxford student slang); 1880 as short for quadrat (n.); 1896 as quadruplet (n.), originally "bicycle for four riders;" later "one of four young at a single birth" (1951, of armadillos); 1970 as quadraphonic (adj.). Related: Quads.

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