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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Quintain \Quin"tain\, n. [F. quintaine, LL. quintana; cf. W. chwintan a kind of hymeneal game.] An object to be tilted at; -- called also quintel. [Written also quintin.] [1913 Webster] Note: A common form in the Middle Ages was an upright post, on the top of which turned a crosspiece, having on one end a broad board, and on the other a sand bag. The endeavor was to strike the board with the lance while riding under, and get away without being hit by the sand bag. "But a quintain, a mere lifeless block." --Shak. [1913 Webster]