quincunx

play
noun quin·cunx \ˈkwin-ˌkəŋ(k)s\

Definition of quincunx

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

quincuncial

play \kwin-ˈkən(t)-shəl\ or

quincunxial

play \kwin-ˈkəŋk-sē-əl\ adjective

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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.

Origin and Etymology of quincunx

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


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