Definition of coign in English:



  • A projecting corner or angle of a wall.

    • ‘The forms are varied, and pseudocubic crystals with complexly formed coigns have been found here; twinning has been observed.’
    • ‘The seas would occupy the depressions and form the faces of the pyramid, while the continents would be situated round the coigns and would reach out along the edges.’
    • ‘And presently we came upon the ruin of yet another gate that marked the entrance to what had once been a great and terrible city, and upon the coign of that tall archway was inscribed the name Kolibos.’
    • ‘There is neither statue, nor a niche for a statue, to be seen on all the outside; no carved work, no spires, towers, pinnacles, balustrades, or anything; but mere walls, buttresses, windows, and coigns necessary to the support and order of the building.’
    • ‘The church is built of light red sandstone, the coigns being of dark basalt, and the style is Early English: it consists of a nave and chancel, north and south aisles, west porch, and a bell-tower.’
    • ‘Our silesian ‘buff’ Sandstone is used for paving, walling, facing stones, coigns, flagstones, rockery stones, walling and crazy paving.’
    • ‘In addition to its great arks and ziggurats, Gambee seems to have missed few of Wall Street's more picturesque chinks, corners and coigns, and the reader is led to each through angles of vision which by most definitions known to me deserve the name of artistry.’
    • ‘He chased a number of them into the sanctity of their own yards, but from these coigns they continued to ridicule him.’
    • ‘In the sudden wash of light from the courtyard he saw a warrior standing in one of the coigns high above him.’
    • ‘They were constructed with gray brick walls embedded with middle moldings of red bricks, concrete coigns and crenellated copings on the top of the surrounding walls.’


  • coign of vantage

    • A favourable position for observation or action.

      • ‘Scampering and skittering up stony slopes we bag our coigns of vantage on the hills and sit in this thin heady oxygen.’
      • ‘These we used as coigns of vantage and rest, but the last stage almost compelled a retreat.’
      • ‘Despite the police - indeed, the police were powerless - they crowded upon frail coigns of vantage, as fences and high sidewalks propped on rotten piles, which fell beneath their weight, and hurled them, bruised and bleeding, into the dust.’
      • ‘The political-philosophical understanding of ideology is one such coign of vantage.’
      • ‘The steep hill to the west is rapidly being cleared of its logs and brush and fine houses are ascending its sides, and perching upon coigns of vantage and in sunny plats on their uneven slopes.’
      • ‘When all were finally seated, the spectacle from the galleries and all coigns of vantage was complete; a gorgeous one to look upon and to remember.’
      • ‘These were all admirably designed as coigns of vantage to meet and check surprises, bursting from a passion-tossed mob.’
      • ‘The Eiffel Tower has dwarfed all those eminences; they lie far below it, mere ant-hills in the landscape, although they seem high enough when one essays their steps; yet, although it makes them so lowly, these older coigns of vantage should not for a moment be considered as superseded, for each does for its immediate vicinage what the Eiffel giant can never do.’
      • ‘As Selden pointed out, when Englishmen came home from fighting the Saracens, and were beaten by them, they, to save their own credit, pictured their enemy with big, terrible faces, such as frowned at Dickens from so many coigns of vantage in the old Saracen's Head.’
      • ‘Platforms as much as forty feet high supplied coigns of vantage for the look-out.’


Late Middle English: variant of coin.