"a group of five, five units treated as one," especially at cards or dice, late 14c., from French cinq, a dissimilation from Latin quinque "five," in Late Latin also cinque (from PIE root *penkwe- "five").
The Cinque Ports (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin, late 13c. in English) were Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, Romney, and Hythe, granted special privileges from the crown in return for defense of the Channel in the days before England had a navy. Cinque outposts (1640s) was an old term for the five senses.
updated on September 04, 2018