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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Coign \Coign\ (koin), n. A var. spelling of Coin, Quoin, a corner, wedge; -- chiefly used in the phrase coign of vantage, a position advantageous for action or observation.

From some shielded nook or coign of vantage.
--The Century.

The lithosphere would be depressed on four faces; . . . the four projecting coigns would stand up as continents.

2. an expandable metal or wooden wedge used by printers to lock up a form within a chase.

Syn: quoin, coigne.

3. the keystone of an arch.

Syn: quoin, coigne.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

archaic spelling of quoin (q.v.), surviving only in Shakespeare's coign of vantage ("Macbeth", popularized by Sir Walter Scott, properly "a projecting corner" (for observation).


n. 1 A projecting corner or angle; a cornerstone 2 The keystone of an arch 3 A wedge used in typesetting

  1. n. expandable metal or wooden wedge used by printers to lock up a form within a chase [syn: quoin, coigne]

  2. the keystone of an arch [syn: quoin, coigne]


Coign may refer to:

  • Quoin (architecture), masonry blocks at the corner of a wall
  • Coign and livery, military exactions in Gaelic Ireland

Usage examples of "coign".

Yet before I had time to establish myself in my usual coign of vantage behind the door I found myself pounced upon by Mimi--always the cause of my misfortunes!

Then, about to draw back from the window, she saw five men, oddly foreshortened figures from that lofty coign of view, leave the Red Moon by one of its bar entrances, bearing between them a heavy beam of wood, and with this improvised battering-ram aimed at the door to the besieged house, charge awkwardly across the cobbles.

Unfortunately at the top the thicket was densest, so the young man swung himself into a tree and as quickly as riding-boots would permit sought a coign of vantage in its upper branches.

All the elements are aligned by one coign of vantage, one articulation of preference.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower, Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.

The screen was apparently in itself a coign of vantage, flying through space with the velocity of light, and the watchers gasped involuntarily and drew themselves together as with that unthinkable speed they flashed down toward the surface of Callisto.

Gareth and Gentleman Coigns must report to the Lunn garrison in two days.

He and Coigns had been assigned away from the Lunn garrison to the infantry forces of Pavan Nils Barrow, now encamped outside the northern coastal city of Thumbre.

Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle.

Our bold and reckless enemy, Relaxing not his plans, has treasured time To mass his monstrous force on all the coigns From which our coast is close assailable.

Nothing Feddith was saying made much sense—it had to do, she assumed, with stonework—she had never heard of coigns or coddy granite or buckstone.

Nothing Feddith was saying made much sense it had to do, she assumed, with stonework she had never heard of coigns or coddy granite or buckstone.

We had come to this coign of vantage, such as it was, very early this morning, even at the second Ahn.

Thus he could see Hanuman's Eddas from a coign of vantage which was wholly new.

It was not only a spectacular but also a marvelous coign of vantage.