Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Any of several card games resembling whist and in which points are scored in four ways: for the high trump, the low trump, the jack of trumps, and the game.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The four legs of a quadruped.
  • n. The four limbs of a primate.
  • n. A card game similar to whist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A game at cards, called “High, Low, Jack, and the Game.”
  • All four legs of a quadruped; or the two legs and two arms of a person.
  • n. See All fours, in the Vocabulary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A game of cards played by from two to six persons with hands of six cards each, dealt from a full pack, the top one of the remaining cards being turned as the trump, and the cards ranking as in whist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. card games in which points are won for taking the high or low or jack or game

Etymologies

all + fours (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Dean's sympathies are very near akin to those of Mr. Beesly, but he values too highly his own historical judgment to allow it to run on all fours with Mr. Beesly's sympathies.

    The Life of Cicero

  • Rape-o let out a shrill yowl, cowered away and started rubbing his backside in the dirt, all fours up and treading air.

    The Big Nowhere

  • A few feet from the top Peren stopped abruptly and fell to his knees, then crawled forward, first on all fours and then on his belly.

    With a Single Spell

  • Hansen, slipping and scrambling on all fours across a fractured, and upward-sloping raft of ice, had reached gropingly forward with his arms into the blindness of the night and the storm and found nothing there.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • That was my first shot—as well as my last—for the headless thing abandoned Malachi and turned the full force of its wrath upon me, scrambling in the wet leaves and mud on all fours as it came, like some ghastly man-size spider.

    The Monstrumologist

  • A very large black-and-white Skoggi in a matching dark green CI—command-interface—vest bounded on all fours by her side.

    Songs of Love & Death

  • The last he saw of them they were in the little orchard where the children ran to play; four who could run, one who hurpled on a single crutch, and one who at nine years old scuttled on all fours like a small dog, having lost the toes of both feet through a gangrene after being exposed to hard frost in a bad winter.

    The Devil's Novice

  • While he was occupied in crawling about the floor, Sulla, taking his time, untwisted the paper he had palmed and tipped the white powder it contained into the further of the two cups; for want of any other instrument, he stirred the wine with his fingers until Hercules Atlas finally lumbered up from all fours to hind legs, and sat down.

    The First Man in Rome

  • Loping on all fours like a creature half animal, half human, she scrambled over downed logs crumbling with rot, plowed through brush.

    Firestorm

  • Kneel on all fours with the walldirectly behind you.

    The Genius of Flexibility

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