quin·​tet | \kwin-ˈtet \

Definition of quintet 

1 : a musical composition or movement for five instruments or voices

2 : a group or set of five: such as

a : the performers of a quintet

b : a basketball team

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

A classical quintet is usually written for strings (usually two violins, two violas, and a cello) or woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn), but brass quintets (two trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba) have also become popular in North America recently. In jazz, Miles Davis led two famous quintets. In pop music, the Miracles, the Temptations, and the Jackson 5 were immensely popular vocal quintets. In rock, one of the most common instrumental lineups has been a quintet consisting of two guitars, a bass, a keyboard, and drums; famous rock quintets have included the Grateful Dead and the Beach Boys.

Examples of quintet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this year, the show's debut season on streaming was a surprise sensation -- a show that made certain among its quintet of stars into stars on social media and in the gay community. Daniel D'addario, chicagotribune.com, "Review: 'Queer Eye' Season 2 on Netflix," 7 June 2018 By the mid-'60s, the quintet of Michael, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson was a popular local attraction in their hometown of Gary, IN. Chris Morris, chicagotribune.com, "Joe Jackson, patriarch of America's most famous musical clan, father of Michael Jackson, dead at 89," 27 June 2018 Collectively, the quintet of songs -- all performed live on ABC TV’s March 4 broadcast -- sold 17,000 digital downloads in the U.S. on March 4. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Oscars' Original Song Nominees See 373 Percent Sales Boost," 5 Mar. 2018 For the past month, a quintet of municipal departments has been working side by side within the Department of Emergency Management on Turk Street. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "New command center strives to tackle homeless issues more quickly in SF," 19 Feb. 2018 Start with this quintet, which doesn't include the absent Roger Federer. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Rafael Nadal: Who can stop the 'King of Clay' at the French Open?," 21 May 2018 That quintet, which featured three rookies, matched up poorly against the Bucks, who had Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Jason Terry on the floor. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic record gritty victory, beat Bucks 126-117," 15 Mar. 2018 After seven years together, on Saturday it was revealed that members Jinyoung (Jung Jin-young) and Baro (Cha Sun-woo) of K-pop quintet B1A4 have opted to not renew their contracts with the group’s label WM Entertainment. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Two Members Leave Korean Boy Band B1A4," 2 July 2018 The bulk of the 65-minute film is drawn from a nine-hour conversation the quintet conducted in 2012. Alex Biese, USA TODAY, "Frank Oz on 'Muppet Guys Talking' documentary, Yoda's 'Last Jedi' return," 16 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of quintet

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quintet

quintet from Italian quintetto, from quinto fifth, from Latin quintus; quintette from French, from Italian quintetto

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quintet

Statistics for quintet

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quintet

The first known use of quintet was in 1764

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for quintet



English Language Learners Definition of quintet

: a group of five singers or musicians who perform together

: a piece of music for five singers or musicians


quin·​tet | \kwin-ˈtet \

Kids Definition of quintet

1 : a piece of music for five instruments or voices

2 : a group of five singers or musicians who perform together

3 : a group or set of five

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on quintet

What made you want to look up quintet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!