AskDefine | Define coign

Dictionary Definition

coign

Noun

1 expandable metal or wooden wedge used by printers to lock up a form within a chase [syn: quoin, coigne]
2 the keystone of an arch [syn: quoin, coigne]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

A variant spelling of coin.

Pronunciation

IPA: /kɔɪn/

Noun

  1. A projecting corner or angle.
    • 1922, Kind air defined the coigns of houses in Kildare street. — James Joyce, Ulysses
    • 1964, They lay quietly as the morning advanced its little way, hid snug in their greenwood coign. — Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like the Sun
    • 1977, Stephen R. Donaldson, Lord Foul's Bane, ISBN 0-345-34865-6, page 212
      The wall was intricately labored—lined and coigned and serried with regular and irregular groups of windows, balconies, buttresses ...
    • 2007, Stephen R. Donaldson, Fatal Revenant, ISBN 978-0-399-15446-1, page 3
      In sunshine as vivid as revelation, Linden Avery knelt on the stone of a low-walled coign like a balcony high in the outward face of Revelstone's watchtower.

Extensive Definition

Generally, a quoin is a wedge, used to support or anchor other items. More specifically, quoin may refer to:
  • In printing, quoins are wedges used by printers to hold the hand-set type in place in a printer's chase
  • In naval warfare, a quoin was a wedge manipulated at the breech end of a cannon to raise or lower the barrel
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