quoin

A quoin is an angle at the outside corner of a building. You can call the corner itself a quoin, or use the word for the special stones or bricks that reinforce corners of brick or stone buildings.

You're most likely to come across the word quoin in a discussion of architecture, since it's a term that has to do with either the aesthetics or strength of a building. Some quoins are decorative features, providing variety and pattern to the corner where two exterior walls meet. Others have an important structural job, strengthening buildings by reinforcing the corners. Quoin was originally an alternative way to spell coin, and was used to mean "cornerstone" or "wedge."

Definitions of quoin
  1. noun
    (architecture) solid exterior angle of a building; especially one formed by a cornerstone
    synonyms: corner
    see moresee less
    type of:
    construction, structure
    a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
  2. noun
    expandable metal or wooden wedge used by printers to lock up a form within a chase
    synonyms: coign, coigne
    see moresee less
    type of:
    wedge
    something solid that is usable as an inclined plane (shaped like a V) that can be pushed between two things to separate them
  3. noun
    the keystone of an arch
    synonyms: coign, coigne
    see moresee less
    type of:
    headstone, key, keystone
    the central building block at the top of an arch or vault
Word Family