• synonyms

Cinque Ports

plural noun
  1. a former association of maritime towns in SE England: originally (1278) numbering five (Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich) and receiving special privileges in return for aiding in the naval defense of England.
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Origin of Cinque Ports

1275–1325; Middle English cink pors < Old French cink porz. See cinque, port1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cinque ports

Historical Examples

  • We here refitted and victualled our ship, and were joined by the Cinque-ports, and left Kinsale on the 11th September.

    A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X

    Robert Kerr

British Dictionary definitions for cinque ports

Cinque Ports

pl n
  1. an association of ports on the SE coast of England, originally consisting of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich, which from late Anglo-Saxon times provided ships for the king's service in return for the profits of justice in their courts. The Cinque Ports declined with the growth of other ports and surrendered their charters in 1685
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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

Word Origin and History for cinque ports

Cinque Ports


late 12c. (in Anglo-Latin), late 13c. (in English), from Latin quinque portus (see cinque + port (n.1)). Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, Romney, and Hythe, granted special privileges from the crown in return for defense of the Channel in the days before England had a navy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper