One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Persian poetry: a quatrain.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in New Asiatic Miscellany. From Persian rubāʿī and its etymon Arabic rubāʿī tetrastich, quatrain, use as noun of rubāʿī consisting of four, quadripartite, fourfold, quadruple from rubāʿ four at a time + -ī.
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