American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or relating to the number eight.
- adj. Consisting of eight members or of groups containing eight.
- n. A group or set of eight.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to the number eight.
- n. the cardinal number that is the sum of seven and one
- From the Latin octōnārius ("containing eight"), from octōnī ("eight at a time”, “by eights”, “eight each") + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary). (Wiktionary)
- Latin octōnārius, containing eight, from octōnī, eight each, from octō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“That which many do comment concerning the octonary number of beatitudes hath too much curiosity, and little benefit.”
“But such men experience no difficulty whatever in performing their mental computations in the decimal system; and they acquire through constant practice such quickness and accuracy of calculation, that it is difficult to see how octonary reckoning would materially assist them.”
“It is said that the ancient Saxons used the octonary system,  but how, or for what purposes, is not stated.”
“But the field of speculation into which one is led by the octonary scale has proved most attractive to some, and the conclusion has been soberly reached, that in the history of the Aryan race the octonary was to be regarded as the predecessor of the decimal scale.”
“If there were any further evidence of the former existence of an Aryan octonary scale, the coincidence would possess a certain degree of significance; but not a shred has ever been produced which is worthy of consideration.”
“In a recent antiquarian work of considerable interest, the author examines into the question of a former octonary system of counting among the various races of the world, particularly those of Asia, and brings to light much curious and entertaining material respecting the use of this number.”
“In favour of the octonary system it is urged that 8 is an exact power of 2; or in other words, a large number of repeated halves can be taken with 8 as a starting-point, without producing a fractional result.”
“Two possible number systems that have, for purely theoretical reasons, attracted much attention, are the octonary and the duodecimal systems.”
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