follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

quintain

[kwin-tn] /ˈkwɪn tn/
noun
1.
an object mounted on a post or attached to a movable crossbar mounted on a post, used as a target in the medieval sport of tilting.
2.
the sport of tilting at a quintain.
Origin of quintain
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English quyntain object for tilting at < Middle French quintaine or Medieval Latin quintāna, of obscure origin; the alleged connection with Latin quīntāna “market place in a military camp” is dubious
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for quintain
Historical Examples
  • A shield is hanged upon a pole (this is a kind of quintain) fixed in the midst of the stream.

    Old English Sports Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  • Accordingly she once more betook herself to the quintain post.

    Barchester Towers Anthony Trollope
  • She resolved that, at any rate, to him nothing more should be said about the quintain that day.

    Barchester Towers Anthony Trollope
  • This appears to be a relic of the ancient Welsh game of quintain, or gwyntyn.

    British Goblins Wirt Sikes
  • It is the custom to hoist married men, who are not blest with children, on the quintain, which is made to revolve rapidly.

    Old English Sports Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  • Among the exercises glanced at in this sketch of the Londoner's sportive year, the quintain is conspicuous.

  • The animal swerved and shied and galloped off wide of the quintain.

    Barchester Towers Anthony Trollope
  • Various military exercises were, however, in existence, among which was the quintain.

  • If you can jump over a ditch and hedge, I am sure you could turn the quintain round.

    Barchester Towers Anthony Trollope
  • He had undertaken to come mounted on a nag of his father's and show the way at the quintain post.

    Barchester Towers Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for quintain

quintain

/ˈkwɪntɪn/
noun (esp in medieval Europe)
1.
a post or target set up for tilting exercises for mounted knights or foot soldiers
2.
the exercise of tilting at such a target
Word Origin
C14: from Old French quintaine, from Latin: street in a Roman camp between the fifth and sixth maniples, from quintus fifth
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for quintain
n.

"target for tilting and jousting practice," c.1400 (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), from Old French quintaine or directly from Medieval Latin quintana; perhaps from Latin quintana "of the fifth" (see quinque-), which as a noun meant "the business part of a camp," on the supposition that this was where military exercises were done [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for quintain

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for quintain

17
20
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for quintain