quin·​tet | \ kwin-ˈtet How to pronounce quintet (audio) \

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

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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 Not only is there talent in the starting quintet but on the bench as well as evidenced by the injuries the team overcame last season in its march to the final. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 9 Nov. 2021 Inspired by artist Whitfield Lovell’s mixed-media Kin series, each instrument in the quintet takes turns baring its soul about a beloved object, mostly imagined and never explicitly named outside the movement titles. Hannah Edgar, chicagotribune.com, 2 Nov. 2021 The 22 goals scored by Florida in its first five games is the best such tally in franchise history, edging the 21 goals scored in the opening quintet by the Eastern Conference Champion 1995-96 team. Aaron Bracy, sun-sentinel.com, 24 Oct. 2021 During Friday’s matchup, coach J.B. Bickerstaff unveiled a variation of this quintet. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 10 Oct. 2021 In Ohio, the quintet of pro-Trump Senate candidates are scrubbing past criticism of Mr. Trump from social media, hiring former Trump campaign officials and seeking endorsements from former officials of his administration. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 The name of this Real Techniques quintet, Everyday Essentials Brush Set, says it all. Sarah Han, Allure, 24 Sep. 2021 The first choice quintet of LT Ryan Hayes, LG Trevor Keegan, C Andrew Vastardis, RG Zinter and RT Andrew Stueber owned the trenches by relentlessly firing off the ball before Washington’s defensive linemen could cross the line of scrimmage. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 13 Sep. 2021 In one game against Greensboro, the quintet of Hickory batters, all batting in succession in the top five spots, reached base 14 times. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 10 Aug. 2021

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.

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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

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The first known use of quintet was in 1764

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quintet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quintet. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce quintet (audio) \

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


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