Quintain meaning

kwĭntən
A post or an object mounted on a post, used as a target in jousting exercises.
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An object supported by a crosspiece on a post, used by knights as a target in tilting.
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(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.]
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Origin of quintain

  • Middle English quintaine from Old French probably from Latin quīntāna (via) fifth (street in a Roman camp, supposedly used for military exercises) from quīntus fifth penkwe in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Anglo-Norman quintine, quinteine, Middle French quintaine, probably from Latin quÄ«ntāna (“street separating fifth and sixth maniples in a Roman camp"), feminine form of quÄ«ntānus (“pertaining to the fifth").

    From Wiktionary