Quint (Root Word) – Definition, Origin & Examples

15.05.24 Root words Time to read: 4min

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Root words serve as the foundational cornerstones of countless words, offering insights into their definitions. They decipher languages, revealing the intricate tapestry of words and their origins. Delving into root words allows you to grasp the evolution of language and appreciate its historical depth. In this article, we will analyze “quint,” meaning “five,” which appears in numerous words, suggesting the concept of a quintuple or relating to the number five.

Definition: Quint

The prefix “quint-” comes from the Latin “quintus,” meaning “fifth,” and is used in various English words to indicate the presence of five elements or to signify the fifth in a series. It is primarily used as a root in nouns and adjectives.

Origin

The root word “quint-” originates from the Latin word “quintus” (fifth), which itself is derived from “quinque,” referring to the number five. It has given rise to various terms that relate to the number five. As a prefix, “quint-” is used to denote five of something or to indicate the fifth in an order, typically modifying nouns and adjectives.

Example 

Quint” as in …:

  • Quintuplet (Noun)
  • Quintessential (Adjective)

In some compounds with the prefix “quint-,” the “t” is omitted, especially, when the following word starts with a consonant. For instance, the adjective “quinquennial” describes something pertaining to a period of five years or occurring every five years. Then there is “quinary,”  describing something that consists of five or belongs to the fifth order or rank, or the word “quinquagenarian,” referring to a person who is 50 to 59 years old.

Using “quint” in nouns

The root “quint-”  is versatile and appears in various nouns to imply that it relates to the number five, such as “quintuplet,” referring to one of five children born to the same mother at one birth, or to one of a set of five. More examples of nouns composed with the prefix “quint” are outlined below.

Quintet…

… refers to a group of five musicians, performing a piece composed of five voices or instruments.

Examples

  • The string quintet includes two violins, a viola, a cello, and a double bass.
  • The quintet captivated the audience with their soulful melodies and harmonies.

Quintuplet…

… describes one of five children born to the same mother at one birth or to one of a set of five things.

Examples

  • The hospital celebrated the birth of quintuplets.
  • One of the quintuplets of the tea set broke during the move.

Quintessence…

… refers to the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class; it originally described the fifth element in ancient philosophy that permeated all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies.

Examples

  • Her gracious response was the quintessence of diplomacy.
  • The alchemist believed he was on the verge of discovering the quintessence.

Quinquennium…

… refers to a period of five years or something occurring every five years.

Examples

  • The committee outlined its goals for the next quinquennium.
  • The museum celebrated its quinquennium with a special exhibition.

Further nouns with “quint”

Example Explanation
Quindecagon A polygon with fifteen sides and angles.
Quintain A post/object set up for jousting practice.
Quintal A weight measure equal to 100 kg/220 pounds.
Quintuplex A building divided into five residences/apartments.
Quinquagenarian A person who is between 50-59 years old.

Using “quint” in adjectives

The prefix “quint-” forms the basis of several adjectives that describe quantities, qualities, or orders involving the number five. Here are some adjectives that use the word “quint.”

Quinary…

… means relating to or based on the number five or that something consists of five parts.

Examples

  • The ancient counting system was based on a quinary scale.
  • In the botanical garden, the guide showed a flower with quinary symmetry.

Quinate…

…is used in botany to describe a group or arrangement of five, especially referring to leaflets or plant parts.

Examples

  • The botanist pointed out the quinate leaves of the plant, boring groups of five leaves.
  • In her herbal compendium, she describes plants with quinate leaf arrangements.

Quintessential…

… describes something as the most perfect example of a particular quality, class, or characteristic.

Examples

  • The café was the quintessential spot for writers seeking inspiration.
  • Her speech was the quintessential expression of the company’s values.

Quintan…

… describes something occurring every fifth day and is often used in the medical field.

Examples

  • The doctor noted the patient’s fever followed a quintan pattern.
  • Her thesis highlighted one civilization’s use of a quintan cycle for agricultural activities.

Further adjectives with “quint”

Example Explanation
Quintangular Having five angles or corners.
Quintic Pertaining to the fifth degree.
Quintuplicate Replicated or repeated five times.

FAQs

The word “quint” roots from the Latin language and translates to “five.”

Yes. “Quint” is prominently used as a prefix and a wide range of nouns and adjectives. It is a numerical prefix relating to the number 5.

The following synonyms can substitute the word “quint”:

  • Five
  • V
  • Cinque
  • Fin
  • 5
  • Fivesome
  • Pentad
  • Quintet
  • Quintuplet

The root word “quint” can be used in an extensive array of ways. As a prefix it is primarily found in nouns and adjectives. Here are two examples of using the word “quint” in sentences.

Examples

  • The farmer announced that his harvest this year weighed over a hundred quintals.
  • The architect’s design for the new pavilion featured a quintangular shape.
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