quin·​cunx | \ ˈkwin-ˌkəŋ(k)s How to pronounce quincunx (audio) \

Definition of quincunx

: an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle

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Other Words from quincunx

quincuncial \ kwin-​ˈkən(t)-​shəl How to pronounce quincunx (audio) \ or quincunxial \ kwin-​ˈkəŋk-​sē-​əl How to pronounce quincunx (audio) \ adjective

Give Me Five for Quincunx

In ancient Rome, a quincunx was a coin with a weight equal to five twelfths of a libra, a unit of weight similar to our pound. The coin's name comes from the Latin roots quinque, meaning "five," and uncia, meaning "one twelfth."  The ancients used a pattern of five dots arranged like the pips on a die as a symbol for the coin, and English speakers applied the word to arrangements similar to that distinctive five-dot mark.

Examples of quincunx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Tuesday, flirtatious Venus creates a challenging quincunx with dynamic Uranus. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 2 Nov. 2020 Montúfar says that at this eclipse, both the sun and the moon will be forming a tense quincunx aspect to task-master Saturn in Aquarius. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Sunday’s “Ring Of Fire” Solar Eclipse Brings Positive Change," 19 June 2020 We may be tempted to push ourselves to extremes on Tuesday, as the Sun creates a quincunx with optimistic Jupiter. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 14 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quincunx.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quincunx

1545, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quincunx

Latin quincunc-, quincunx, literally, five twelfths, from quinque five + uncia twelfth part — more at five, ounce

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The first known use of quincunx was in 1545

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Last Updated

24 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quincunx.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quincunx. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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