A post or an object mounted on a post, used as a target in jousting exercises.
[Middle English quintaine, from Old French, probably from Latin quīntāna (via), fifth (street in a Roman camp, supposedly used for military exercises), from quīntus, fifth; see penkwe in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.