[Ads-l] "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Jan 4 00:59:04 UTC 2015

Why does the OED's definition of "fourth dimension (under "fourth") 
not include "time"?  The definition there is merely "a supposed or 
assumed dimension, additional to length, breadth, and thickness (see 
dimension n. 3 note)."  And in the note, the only mention of anything 
beyond L, B, and T is "Modern mathematicians have speculated as to 
the possibility of more than three dimensions of space."

Searching for quotations including "fourth dimension", the earliest 
referring to time is perhaps "1885   Nature 26 Mar. 481/1   Since 
this fourth dimension cannot be introduced into space, as commonly 
understood, we require a new kind of space for its existence, which 
we may call time-space."  (Well's "The Time Machine" is 1895.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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