One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A set of fifty psalms. Formerly also: a commentary on a set of fifty psalms.
Mid 16th century. From post-classical Latin quinquagena set of fifty psalms, title of each of the three sections of a work by St Augustine on the psalms from classical Latin quīnquāgēnī fifty each from quīnquāgintā fifty + -ēnī, suffix forming distributive adjectives.
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