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

  • noun A set of 24 or sometimes 25 sheets of paper of the same size and stock; one twentieth of a ream.
  • noun A collection of leaves of parchment or paper, folded one within the other, in a manuscript or book.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A body of singers; a chorus.
  • noun The part of a church allotted to the choristers; the choir.
  • noun A company or assembly.
  • To sing in concert or chorus; chant or sing harmoniously.
  • To harmonize.
  • noun A set of four sheets of parchment or paper folded so as to make eight leaves: the ordinary unit of construction for early manuscripts and books.
  • noun A set of one of each of the sheets of a book laid in consecutive order, ready for folding.
  • noun A book.
  • noun Twenty-four sheets of paper; the twentieth part of a ream.
  • To nest within a once-folded outer sheet (one or more sheets of paper of the same size similarly folded); impose and print (separate pages of type) so that they can be properly outsetted or insetted in consecutive order.
  • To fold in quires, or with marks between quires.
  • An obsolete form of queer.

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

  • noun obsolete See choir.
  • intransitive verb rare To sing in concert.
  • noun A collection of twenty-four sheets of paper of the same size and quality, unfolded or having a single fold; one twentieth of a ream.

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

  • noun archaic A choir.
  • noun The architectural part of a church in which the choir resides, between the nave and the sanctuary.
  • verb intransitive To sing in concert.
  • noun One-twentieth of a ream of paper; a collection of twenty-four or twenty-five sheets of paper of the same size and quality, unfolded or having a single fold.
  • noun bookbinding A set of leaves which are stitched together, originally a set of four pieces of paper (eight leaves, sixteen pages). This is most often a single signature (i.e. group of four), but may be several nested signatures.
  • noun A book, poem, or pamphlet.
  • verb bookbinding To prepare quires by stitching together leaves of paper.

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

  • noun a quantity of paper; 24 or 25 sheets


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

[Middle English quayer, four double sheets of paper, from Old French quaer, from Vulgar Latin *quaternus, from Latin quaternī, set of four, four each, from quater, four times; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.]



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • quire a fourfold word

    January 17, 2007

  • In bookbinding, a gathering of printed sheets, originally comprised of 24 sheets cut from four large sheets produced by the paper maker. In modern use a quire is often reckoned as 25 sheets, so that a ream of 20 quires is now 500 sheets rather than the traditional 480.

    February 22, 2007

  • give it choir

    September 8, 2012