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From Anglo-Norman quintaine, quinteine, Middle French quintaine, probably from Latin quīntāna (street separating fifth and sixth maniples in a Roman camp), feminine form of quīntānus (pertaining to the fifth).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkwɪntɪn/
  • Hyphenation: quin‧tain


quintain (plural quintains)

  1. (now historical) An object (generally a post or plank on a support) set up as a target to be tilted at in jousting, or otherwise used as target practice. [from 15th c.]
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 285:
      In the tiltyard, his companions felt the juddering impact of his sword-blows and saw the muscled precision of his archery and his tilting at the quintain.

Related terms[edit]