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cinquain

[sing-keyn, sing-keyn] /sɪŋˈkeɪn, ˈsɪŋ keɪn/
noun
1.
a group of five.
2.
Prosody.
  1. a short poem consisting of five, usually unrhymed lines containing, respectively, two, four, six, eight, and two syllables.
  2. any stanza of five lines.
Origin
1705-1715
1705-15; < French < Late Latin cinque (see cinque) + French -ain collective suffix. See quatrain
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cinquain
  • Select an topic and ask the students to write cinquain or haiku poems about it.
  • Use letters to describe one of the animal pelts or to write a cinquain poem about one of the pelts.
  • In the center of this snowflake, write a cinquain about winter wildlife.
  • Have each pair use their interview responses to create a cinquain poem.
British Dictionary definitions for cinquain

cinquain

/sɪŋˈkeɪn; ˈsɪŋkeɪn/
noun
1.
a stanza of five lines
Word Origin
C18 (in the sense: a military company of five): from French cinq five, from Latin quinque; compare quatrain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cinquain
n.

"collection of five," 1711, from French cinquain "bundle of five objects," from cinq "five" (see five). Originally in English of military orders of battle; of five-lined stanzas of verse from 1882 (give a more specific form in English than usual in French).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cinquain

a five-line stanza. The American poet Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914), applied the term in particular to a five-line verse form of specific metre that she developed. Analogous to the Japanese verse forms haiku and tanka, it has two syllables in its first and last lines and four, six, and eight in the intervening three lines and generally has an iambic cadence. An example is her poem "November Night": Listen With faint dry soundLike steps of passing ghosts,the leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the treesAnd fall

Learn more about cinquain with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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