Pronounced: em-PIR-ee-uhn (alt: em-pie-REE-uhn), adj

Notes: I think I’ve run across this word, but was uncertain about the meaning

Yesterday’s word

The word quincunx is “five objects arranged like the five dots on a dice” – most often used of shrubs or sculptures in a yard.

First usage

This word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

If you couldn’t guess, the word comes from Latin; specifically, a word meaning five twelfths: quinc- (five) combined with -uncia (twelfth). Originally, the word described a Roman coin that was worth five twelfths of the Roman standard bronze coin (called an “as”). It was marked with five spots (rather like the five dots on a die). The word now can refer to anything in that kind of a pattern.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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