quin·​tile ˈkwin-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce quintile (audio)
: any of the four values that divide the items of a frequency distribution into five classes with each containing one fifth of the total population
also : any one of the five classes

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Breaking Down the Meaning of Quintile

Many people have a deep interest in statistics about themselves, whether the information provided is about income, ice-cream consumption, or trash production. And any such rating can be divided into fifths, or quintiles. The fifth or lowest quintile would include the 20 percent of the population who make the least money or eat the least ice cream or generate the least trash, and the first quintile would include the 20 percent who make, eat, or generate the most.

Examples of quintile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the bottom two quintiles of the wealth distribution, however, inflation remains a nightmare. Will Daniel, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2023 The death rate was in the highest quintile among countries globally, but slightly better than many of its Balkans neighbors. Cate Brown, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 On the list of challenges that most people acknowledge women are facing in the second quintile of the 21st century—from being shut out of corporate boardrooms to untreated fistulas—the inability to play Texas Hold’em does not rank very high, but Just is all in. Time, 24 July 2023 Though the study was focused on the top income quintile, the state’s affordability crisis has hit others even harder, causing movement away from coastal cities to booming suburbs and exurbs inland. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Those figures reflect what was paid by students in the lowest-income quintile compared with what was paid by students in the highest-income quintile. Fazil Khan, USA TODAY, 1 May 2023 Around half is held by the top lifetime-earnings quintile among workers, while the bottom earnings quintile holds only around 1 percent. Brett Christophers, Time, 23 June 2023 Most teachers, nurses and firefighters belong in the second and middle earnings quintiles, not in the top two, which is where retirement savings are concentrated. Brett Christophers, Time, 23 June 2023 As a group, the top quintile — those earning $130,001 or more annually — paid $3.23 trillion in taxes, compared with $142 billion for the bottom quintile, or those earning less than $25,000. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quintile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin quintus + English -ile entry 2

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quintile was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near quintile

Cite this Entry

“Quintile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quintile. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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