in mathematics, "the result of the process of division, quantity resulting from the division of one number by another, number of times one quantity is contained in another," mid-15c., quocient, from Latin quotiens "how often? how many times?; as often as," pronominal adverb of time, from quot "how many?" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns). The Latin adverb quotiens was mistaken in Middle English for a present participle of quot in -ens.