Definition of quinary in US English:



  • 1Fifth in order or rank.

    ‘she discusses other mixtures, including those of the secondary through quinary colors’
  • 2Zoology
    historical Relating to or denoting a former system of classification in which the animal kingdom is divided into five subkingdoms, and each subkingdom into five classes.

    • ‘When Darwin read that an opponent of the ‘quinary’ system was proposing a modification to sets of four, he expostulated in his notebooks, ‘Anyone may believe anything in such rigmarole about analogies and numbers’.’


Early 17th century: from Latin quinarius, from quini ‘five at once, a set of five’, from quinque ‘five’.