One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Recurring every five years.
- ‘For a fraction of the expense of the proposed quinquennial review two better options are open to the General Medical Council.’
- ‘We know that the system we have under the quinquennial census allows people to make and nominate what ethnicity they might be - and it is a curious thing; I think that few other countries have such a system.’
- 1.1 Lasting for or relating to a period of five years.
- ‘Thereafter came praetorship and consulship (though not all achieved these offices), and finally the quinquennial office of censor, the crown of a republican politician's career.’
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘lasting five years’): from Latin quinquennis (from quinque ‘five’ + annus ‘year’) + -al.
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