• synonyms


[koin, kwoin]
  1. an external solid angle of a wall or the like.
  2. one of the stones forming it; cornerstone.
  3. any of various bricks of standard shape for forming corners of brick walls or the like.
  4. a wedge-shaped piece of wood, stone, or other material, used for any of various purposes.
  5. Printing. a wedge of wood or metal for securing type in a chase.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to provide with quoins, as a corner of a wall.
  2. to secure or raise with a quoin or wedge.
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Also coign, coigne.

Origin of quoin

First recorded in 1525–35; variant of coin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for quoins

wedge, angle, cornerstone

Examples from the Web for quoins

Historical Examples of quoins

  • This is held in place by pushing in a few wooden wedges or quoins.


    A. A. Stewart

  • Above the piece of wall which occurs between the older and newer work, the quoins of the aisleless church remain entire.

  • The uppermost stage is chamfered at the quoins, leaving a small off-set at the level of the next.

  • But the most useful mortar, of course, had trunnions and adjustable elevation by means of quoins.

  • The Angles or Quoins of rubble-work are always carefully and precisely worked and serve as a gauge for the rest of the walling.

British Dictionary definitions for quoins


coign or coigne

  1. an external corner of a wall
  2. Also called: cornerstone a stone forming the external corner of a wall
  3. another name for keystone (def. 1)
  4. printing a metal or wooden wedge or an expanding mechanical device used to lock type up in a chase
  5. a wedge used for any of various other purposes, such as (formerly) to adjust elevation in muzzle-loading cannon
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Word Origin for quoin

C16: variant of coin (corner)
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 quoins



1530s, "a cornerstone," variant spelling of coin (n.); in early use also in other senses of that word, including "a wedge."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper