One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of hypercomplex number with eight coefficients, having the form x = x0 + x1e1 + x2e2 + x3e3 + x4e4 + x5e5 + x6e6 + x7e7, where the xn are real numbers and the en are imaginary units which, in conjunction with 1 and −1, form a closed, non-commutative, non-associative system under multiplication.
Late 19th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin octōnī eight each, eight at a time + -ion, after quaternion.
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