Word Origin & History
1594, from M.L. pentaculum, a hybrid coined from Gk. pente "five" + L. -culum, dim. suffix. But the exact origin is obscure. It. had pentacolo "anything with five points," and Fr. pentacle (16c.) was the name of something used in necromancy, perhaps a five-branched candlestick. Fr. pentacol "amulet worn
around the neck" (14c.), however, is from pend- "to hang" + a "to" + col "neck." The same figure as a pentagram (q.v.), except in magical usage, where is has been extended to other symbols of power, including a six-point star.