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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quintain
Historical Examples
  • The game of quintain, which I need not describe, was much in vogue.

  • Soon he was allowed to tilt with his horse and lance at the quintain.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • They always kept up the sport of tilting at the quintain in the water.

    London Walter Besant
  • Accordingly she once more betook herself to the quintain post.

    Barchester Towers

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

    Barchester Towers

    Anthony Trollope
  • Then she went into the small home park where the quintain was erected.

    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
  • After Aimery could strike the quintain with precision he took his first tilt against an older squire.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • If you can jump over a ditch and hedge, I am sure you could turn the quintain round.

    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
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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
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17
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