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For comparisons (= < <= > >= ==) arity 3 and higher are much slower than doing e.g. (and (< a b) (< b c)). The arity 3 is in my research rather less common but still used in e.g. Manifold stream.clj [0] or rrb_vector rrbt.clj [1]. Arity 3 is idiomatic in places, where you compare lower and upper bound for a "variable". However, I don't think arity 4 and higher is used much in practical code. At least I haven't found any interesting instances of such a use.

An example implementation (based on the one currently in core) could be:

(defn <'
  "Returns non-nil if nums are in monotonically increasing order,
  otherwise false."
  {:inline         (fn [x y] `(. clojure.lang.Numbers (lt ~x ~y)))
   :inline-arities #{2}
   :added          "1.0"}
  ([x] true)
  ([x y] (. clojure.lang.Numbers (lt x y)))
  ([x y z] (and (<' x y) (<' y z)))
  ([x y z & more]
   (if (<' x y z)
     (if (next more)
       (recur y z (first more) (next more))
       (<' z (first more)))

[0] https://github.com/clj-commons/manifold/blob/c3fc69066f3abba0b5ab0f4c2b1c4338bcc61d19/src/manifold/stream.clj#L978
[1] https://github.com/clojure/core.rrb-vector/blob/master/src/main/clojure/clojure/core/rrb_vector/rrbt.clj

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