Definition of quincunx in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwɪnkʌŋks/

noun (plural quincunxes)

Image of quincunx
1An arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its centre, used for the five on a dice or playing card, and in planting trees.
Example sentences
  • He goes in for rhomboids, quincunxes, and chess logic; even his ubiquitous infinities are of a linear, ‘Euclidean’ sort.
  • People long ago produced fiendishly complicated analyses of visual forms: witness Nicholas of Cusa's tract on the all-seeing icon of Christ and Thomas Browne's labyrinthine meditation on the quincunx.
  • Most Mesomerican peoples understood the cosmos itself to be four-sided or quincunx in configuration, being defined by the four cardinal directions and a fifth, the center.
2 [mass noun] Astrology An aspect of 150°, equivalent to five zodiacal signs.
Example sentences
  • Saturn conjunct, Mars opposition and quincunx Pluto, all are powerful and aggressive controlling aspects.
  • There are nine aspects in common use: the five major aspects - conjunction, opposition, trine, square and sextile - and four minor aspects - the semi-sextile, semi-square, sesquiquadrate and quincunx.
  • Also known as the quincunx and denoted by the symbol, it is said to represent a harsh or tense relationship based upon incompatibility.



Pronunciation: /kwɪnˈkʌnʃ(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • He worked on geodesy but became interested in conformal map projections where he invented a quincuncial map projection using elliptic functions.


Pronunciation: /kwɪnˈkʌnʃ(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • The flabellate multiserial sheets have autozooids arranged more-or-less quincuncially, not in connate series as with many species of Tubulipora.


Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally 'five twelfths', from quinque 'five' + uncia 'twelfth'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quin|cunx

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