Definition of quoin in English:


Pronunciation /kwɔɪn//kɔɪn/


  • 1An external angle of a wall or building.

    ‘smaller stations followed the same pattern; stone-built, with strongly accented quoins’
    • ‘Brick allows you to personalize the look of your home with elegant detailing, such as arches and quoins, different bond patterns and special shapes.’
    • ‘Granite quoins, steps, archways and many other building materials including ancient oak beams from the original priory, were used in the construction of the manor in 1810.’
    • ‘In such cases bands, columns, lintels, sills, jambs, quoins, water tables, medallions, capstones, and copings were wrought of the stone quite often repeating the coloration of the stone used in the steps or foundation.’
    1. 1.1 Any of the stones or bricks forming a quoin; a cornerstone.
      • ‘Construction is of rendered rubble walls, with brick features around window and door openings, brick quoins and a pitched slated roof.’
      • ‘Formerly a school, built when Victoria was monarch, it has walls of beige bricks with each corner decorated with stone quoins and topped with crenellations adorned by an abundance of stone finials.’
      • ‘Wonderful period detailing, including gothic windows, sandstone quoins and pillars, with access to the clock in the bell tower via a hatch.’
      • ‘Probably of about 1020, this rises in four stages, with long-and-short quoins at the corners and stone pilaster strips dividing it vertically; similar stone strips provide round-arched and lozenge-shaped decoration.’
      • ‘Monart House is an 18th century sandstone house with limestone quoins and dressings, extending to three storeys over basement.’
      • ‘For example, the edges and corners of stone-veneer walls need specialty pieces - such as trim stones and L-shaped corner pieces called quoins.’
      • ‘The stripwork and the quoins are all rebated and stand proud of the stone infill to allow external plaster work to fill in between the strips.’
      cornerstone, central stone
      View synonyms
  • 2Printing
    A wedge or expanding mechanical device used for locking a letterpress forme into a chase.

  • 3A wedge for raising the level of a gun barrel or for keeping it from rolling.


[with object]
  • 1Provide (a wall) with quoins or corners.

    ‘the white plaster walls quoined with red sandstone blocks’
    • ‘A deep, fenestrated entryway in the neoclassical style was added at some point in the eighteenth century, and its corners are quoined like the comers of the house (and were presumably added at the same time).’
  • 2Printing
    Lock up (a forme) with a quoin.


Middle English: variant of coin, used earlier in the sense ‘cornerstone’ and ‘wedge’.