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Borrowed from Latin quīncunx.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkwɪŋkʌŋks/
  • IPA(key): /ˈkwɪnkʌŋks/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋks


quincunx (plural quincunxes or quincunces)

  1. An arrangement of five units with four forming the corners of a square and the fifth at the centre of the square, a pattern corresponding to the five-spot on dice, playing cards, or dominoes.
  2. (astrology) An angle of five-twelfths of a circle, or 150°, between two objects. [from 1647]
  3. A Galton board.
    • 1998, Deborah J. Bennett, Randomness, Harvard University Press, page 104:
      In 1873–74 Sir Francis Galton (Charles Darwin’s cousin) designed an apparatus that he later named the quincunx.
  4. (historical, numismatics) A bronze coin minted during the Roman Republic, valued at five-twelfths of an as. [from 1545]

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]



quīnque +‎ uncia, literally 'five twelfths' in reference to a coin issued by the Roman Republic c. 211–200 BC, featuring a 5-dot pattern. Its value was five twelfths (quinque and uncia) of an as, the Roman standard bronze coin.


Because of Osthoff's Law, the length of the vowel in the second syllable is uncertain; see the note at uncia.


quīncū̆nx m (genitive quīncū̆ncis); third declension

  1. five twelfths
  2. the five on a die


Third-declension noun (i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative quīncū̆nx quīncū̆ncēs
Genitive quīncū̆ncis quīncū̆ncium
Dative quīncū̆ncī quīncū̆ncibus
Accusative quīncū̆ncem quīncū̆ncēs
Ablative quīncū̆nce quīncū̆ncibus
Vocative quīncū̆nx quīncū̆ncēs


  • English: quincunx
  • French: quinconce
  • German: Quinkunx
  • Spanish: quincunce


  • quincunx”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • quincunx”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quincunx in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • 5 per cent: quincunx (Pers. 5. 149)
    • 5 per cent: quincunces usurae
  • quincunx”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quincunx”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  1. ^ Sayeed, Ollie (01 Jan 2017) "Osthoff’s Law in Latin", in Indo-European Linguistics, Volume 5, Issue 1, page 156