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quintain


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The medieval military exercise of tilting at a post set up as a mark in tilting with a lance, typically with a sandbag attached that would swing round and strike an unsuccessful tilter. Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes from Old French quintaine, and is perhaps based on Latin quintana, a street in a Roman camp separating the fifth and sixth maniples, where military exercises were performed (from quintus ‘fifth’).


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