Definition of quintuplet in US English:



  • 1usually quintupletsEach of five children born to the same mother at one birth.

    • ‘Since in vitro fertilization started, two decades ago, there has been an explosion of twins, triplets, quadruplets, even quintuplets.’
    • ‘But just logistically, I don't know how people do triplets or quadruplets or quintuplets, because I can't carry two babies at the same time.’
    • ‘Would you enjoy being a quintuplet in the early 20th century when, as a reproductive anomaly, the simple fact of your existence made your family a freak show.’
    • ‘Commotion over multiple births - quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets - isn't new.’
    • ‘Before a similar hot start last season, he probably was best known as the player whose wife gave birth to quintuplets.’
    • ‘Such multiple gestations are rare, with 6,742 sets of triplets, 506 sets of quadruplets, and 77 sets of quintuplets or higher order pregnancies in 2000.’
    • ‘Interestingly, armadillos always give birth to identical quintuplets.’
    • ‘Identical twins are clones, and the famous Dionne quintuplets born in Canada in 1934 represent a human clone of five people.’
    • ‘A story about the birth of quintuplets shouldn't send all expectant couples scurrying to buy 5 cribs.’
    • ‘Delivered by caesarean section at 29 weeks gestation and weighing from 2 pounds, 3 ounces to 3 pounds, 3 ounces, the quintuplets are expected to be released from the hospital this month.’
    • ‘He and his wife, Gisel, are expecting quintuplets in October.’
    • ‘A 33 year old woman gave birth early on Monday in Beijing to a set of quintuplets through Caesarean operation, eight weeks ahead of schedule.’
    • ‘Indeed, the Dionne quintuplets were clones of a fertilized egg that divided three times before the cells fell apart and grew into separate individuals.’
    • ‘A surrogate mother in Phoenix, Arizona has given birth to quintuplets by caesarean section.’
    • ‘That's what happened in 1934, when the Dionne quintuplets first caught the attentions of our country's burgeoning mass media.’
  • 2Music
    A group of five notes to be performed in the time of three or four.

    • ‘There was this very specific attention to every hemidemisemiquaver and how quintuplets were going to inter-relate with this and how the texture of the cymbalom would work with the mandolin versus the harps and so on.’
    • ‘At one point, triplets and septuplets in the l.h. are pitted against quintuplets and sextuplets in the r.h.’


Late 19th century: from quintuple, on the pattern of words such as triplet.