• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Quintain An object to be tilted at; -- called also quintel.☞ A common form in the Middle Ages was an upright post, on the top of which turned a crosspiece, having on one end a broad board, and on the other a sand bag. The endeavor was to strike the board with the lance while riding under, and get away without being hit by the sand bag. “But a quintain, a mere lifeless block.”
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n quintain A figure or other object to be tilted at. It was constructed in various ways. A common form in England consisted of an upright post, on the top of which was a horizontal bar turning on a pivot; to one end of this a sandbag was attached, to the other a broad board: and it was a trial of skill to strike or tilt at the broad end with a lance, and pass on before the bag of sand could whirl round and strike the tilter on the back.
    • n quintain The game or exercise of tilting at the quintain.
    • n quintain Same as cinquain, 2.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Quintain kwin′tān a post with a turning and loaded top or cross-piece, to be tilted at
    • Quintain Also Quin′tin
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. quintaine, LL. quintana,; cf. W. chwintan, a kind of hymeneal game


In literature:

Quintains, however, she was determined to have, and had poles and swivels and bags of flour prepared accordingly.
"Barchester Towers" by Anthony Trollope
Body of me, why stand you there like a wooden quintain?
"Yolanda: Maid of Burgundy" by Charles Major
A shield is hanged upon a pole (this is a kind of quintain) fixed in the midst of the stream.
"Old English Sports" by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
This is called a quintain post and stands in the center of the village green.
"British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car" by Thomas D. Murphy
A young squire was first obliged to show his skill in tilting at the quintain.
"King Arthur and His Knights" by Maude L. Radford
One was the quintain.
"The Children's Book of London" by Geraldine Edith Mitton
There is one of these ancient quintaines now standing on the green in the village of Offham, in Kent.
"Richard III" by Jacob Abbott
The game of quintain, which I need not describe, was much in vogue.
"Memorials of Old London" by Various
The quintain originally was nothing more than the trunk of a tree or post set up for the practice of the tyros in chivalry.
"Folk-lore of Shakespeare" by Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer
This appears to be a relic of the ancient Welsh game of quintain, or gwyntyn.
"British Goblins" by Wirt Sikes
And yet none quicker than he at ball or quintain, none braver at quarterstaff.
"The Plowshare and the Sword" by Ernest George Henham
She is but as other women are, and you have played the quintain for her practice.
"The Chevalier d'Auriac" by S. (Sidney) Levett-Yeats
Armed with a lance he tilted at the quintain, a shield bound to a pole or spear fastened in the ground.
"Britain in the Middle Ages" by Florence L. Bowman