One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly Science. Almost or approximately periodic.
2Mathematics. Of a function: such that increasing the variable by a certain fixed amount multiplies the value of the function by a fixed function, or increases it additively by a fixed function.
3Physics. Of a motion, oscillation, etc.: having two periods incommensurable in duration.
4Crystallography and Mathematics. Of a pattern, crystal lattice, etc.: such that any element recurs elsewhere, but at irregular intervals.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Francis Anstie (1833–1874), physician. From quasi- + periodic.
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