Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to the number eight.
  • adjective Consisting of eight members or of groups containing eight.
  • noun A group or set of eight.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Consisting of eight; computing by eights; octaval.
  • noun Same as ogdoad.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the number eight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of eighth rank or order.
  • adjective Consisting of eight things
  • noun A group of eight things

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

  • noun the cardinal number that is the sum of seven and one

Etymologies

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

[Latin octōnārius, containing eight, from octōnī, eight each, from octō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin octōnārius ("containing eight"), from octōnī ("eight at a time”, “by eights”, “eight each") + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary).

Examples

  • That which many do comment concerning the octonary number of beatitudes hath too much curiosity, and little benefit.

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • 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.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • It is said that the ancient Saxons used the octonary system, [220] but how, or for what purposes, is not stated.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • 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.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • 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.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • 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.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • 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.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

  • Two possible number systems that have, for purely theoretical reasons, attracted much attention, are the octonary and the duodecimal systems.

    The Number Concept Its Origin and Development

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