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Coign   Listen
noun
Coign  n.  
1.
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 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.
Synonyms: quoin, coigne.
3.
The keystone of an arch.
Synonyms: quoin, coigne.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Coign" Quotes from Famous Books



... moved my bed out from the wall to catch whatever breeze might stir, "composed myself for the night," as it used to be written, and lay looking out upon the quiet garden where a thin white haze was rising. If, in taking this coign of vantage, I had any subtler purpose than to seek a draught against the warmth of the night, it did not fail of its reward, for just as I had begun to drowse, the gallery steps creaked as if beneath some immoderate weight, and the noble ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... be marshalled, of course, about the guidon of a hypothesis, but that guidon can lead on to victory only when the facts themselves support it. Once planted victoriously on the conquered ramparts the hypothesis becomes a theory—a generalization of science—marking a fresh coign of vantage, which can never be successfully assailed unless by a new host of antagonistic facts. Such generalizations, with the events leading directly up to them, have chiefly occupied ...
— A History of Science, Volume 5(of 5) - Aspects Of Recent Science • Henry Smith Williams

... other view of North America's greatest mountain group comparable to that from Lake Minchumina. From almost every other coign of vantage in the interior I had seen it and found it more or less unsatisfying. Only from distant points like the Pedro Dome or the summit between Rampart and Glen Gulch does the whole mass and uplift of it come into view ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... sit where you are, ladies," the aide remarked, "for the inn is full of men;" and the two accepted his suggestion, and from their coign of vantage surveyed the scene, while the squire, tumbling off the waggon, demanded word ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... admitted me to the body of the auditorium, where I was conducted to a coign of vantage in near proximity to members of the fair sex ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... novels. Still, his principal work, The Mountain Cot (Heiarbli)—one of the longest cycles in Icelandic fiction—is his greatest. The little outlying mountain cot becomes a separate world in its own right, a coign of vantage affording a clear view of the surrounding countryside where we get profound insight into human nature. Like the bulk of his best work, this novel has a foundation in his own experiences. In reading the story by him included in this volume, the reader ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... and he would be in a little by-street which would take him out of the uproar. The thought of his little protege crossed his mind. He turned to look for him. He saw him at the very moment when Emmanuel had slipped down from his coign of vantage and was rolling on the ground being trampled underfoot by the rabble: the fugitives were running over his body: the police were just reaching the spot. Olivier did not stop to think: he rushed down the steps and ran to his aid. A navvy saw the danger, the soldiers with drawn sabers. ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... the hoofs of horses beat steadily on the road leading from the valley up to Zillenstein. John from a coign of vantage saw approaching a young man in a gray German uniform, followed by four hussars, also in German gray. Anyone who came to Zillenstein was of interest, and as John looked the leading figure became familiar. ...
— The Hosts of the Air • Joseph A. Altsheler

... There is no coign of vantage more effective than the position of young lady cashier. She sits there, easily queen of the court of commerce; she is duchess of dollars and devoirs, countess of compliments and coin, leading lady of love and luncheon. You ...
— Strictly Business • O. Henry

... he no longer thought of flight; curiosity and ambition burned in his small veins. He quickly climbed up the outcrop, picked up the fallen stone, and in spite of its weight lifted it to the prostrate tree. Here he paused, and from his coign of vantage looked and listened. The solitude was profound. Then mounting the tree and standing over its axis he tried to rock it as the others had. Alas! Johnny's heart was stout, his courage unlimited, his ...
— Openings in the Old Trail • Bret Harte

... the place, ten altogether, so Birkin had found out: two artists, three students, a man and wife, and a Professor and two daughters—all Germans. The four English people, being newcomers, sat in their coign of vantage to watch. The Germans peeped in at the door, called a word to the waiter, and went away again. It was not meal-time, so they did not come into this dining-room, but betook themselves, when their boots were changed, ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... had moved so that he could see her, arriving at a coign of vantage just as she closed the book. She locked it, wrapped it in an oilskin cover which lay beside it on the table, hung the key-chain round her neck, rose, yawned, and, to his violent chagrin, put out the light. He ...
— The Flirt • Booth Tarkington

... that foreknowledge, it misses the specifically dramatic effect of the scenes. The author invites it to play at blind-man's-buff with the characters, instead of unsealing its eyes and enabling it to watch the game from its Olympian coign of vantage. ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... away with all its might; the two clowns had rolled into the ring, the master was cracking his whip, the horses, awaiting their turn impatiently, were pawing and breathing loudly. Mr. Bloxford, still in his fur coat, with a big cigar in full blast, was seated in a coign of vantage from which he could see everything, his Simian eyes darting everywhere, his jewelled hand ready to wave on the various items of the programme. The huge audience received the opening turns with a kind of judicial silence; but as Isabel, on a big black horse, came sweeping ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... this room Shabby-genteel, that's parlor to the inn Perched on a view-commanding eminence; —Inn which may be a veritable house Where somebody once lived and pleased good taste Till tourists found his coign of vantage out, And fingered blunt the individual mark And vulgarized things comfortably smooth. On a sprig-pattern-papered wall there brays Complaint to sky Sir Edwin's dripping stag; His couchant coast-guard creature corresponds; They face the Huguenot and Light o' the ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... could rightly be construed as treason. The commissioners finally wanted to know, yes or no, whether the colonists meant to question the validity of the royal commission? But the assembly would not thus be dislodged from the coign of vantage; they stuck to their patent, and pointed out that nothing was therein said about a commission? So far as they were concerned, the commission, as a commission, could have no existence. They recognized nothing but three somewhat ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... a certain point, Richard drew back, and, from a coign of vantage, saw Barbara try the study-window and fail. He then followed her as she went round to the door, and, still covertly, saw her ring the bell. The door was opened with what seemed to him a portentous celerity, and she disappeared. He turned away into the park, and wandered about, ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... on its armor against the assaults of the wind, this snow had neglected no coign of vantage. Snow pursued by the wind is not wholly unlike a retreating army. In the open field it ranges itself in ranks and battalions; where it can get a foothold it makes a stand; where it can take cover it does so. You may see whole platoons ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... harmony become manifest as spatial properties - you had been taught to regard them as principles of art. You wonder if art itself may not be merely a matter of right placing - the adjustment of a thing to its environment. You are certain that this is so as each coign and niche offers you its particular insight. Strange vagaries float through your mind - one's duty to the inanimate things of one's possession; the house too large for the personality of the owner; the right setting for certain idiosyncrasies; ...
— The Fourth Dimensional Reaches of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition • Cora Lenore Williams

... make his purchases a foxeyed man saw him and stepped quickly behind the huge stove which had not as yet been taken down for the summer. Bridge made his purchases, the volume of which required a large gunny-sack for transportation, and while he was thus occupied the fox-eyed man clung to his coign of vantage, himself unnoticed by the purchaser. When Bridge departed the other followed him, keeping in the shadow of the trees which bordered the street. Around the edge of town and down a road which led southward the two went until Bridge passed through ...
— The Oakdale Affair • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... swordsman. This was decidedly a man of talent, but he was shorter in the arm than my master and had the disadvantage of standing on the ground, whereas M. Etienne was up one step. He could not force home any of his shrewd-planned thrusts; nor could he drive M. Etienne out of his coign to where in the open the two could make short work of him. The rapiers clashed and parted and twisted about each other and flew apart again; and then before I could see who was touched the attacker fell to his knees, with M. ...
— Helmet of Navarre • Bertha Runkle

... how little mark he made. The present and coming generations know nothing about him. I may add here that, at Dickens' very last Reading at this place, I and Charles Kent were the two—the only two—favoured with a place on the platform, behind the screens. From that coign, I heard him say his last farewell words: "Vanish from ...
— John Forster • Percy Hethrington Fitzgerald

... many more, our puzzled trio went to the Stock Exchange on the last day of September. We were conducted into the safe seclusion of the Visitors' Gallery, from which coign of vantage we could look down unharmed upon the frantic multitude below. The room is large and very lofty, its prevailing tint a warm brown, relieved by bright decorations of the Byzantine order. Across one end runs a small ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... midst at will, compared with the deadly expanses of Fifth Avenue, with their rush of all manner of vehicles over the smooth asphalt surface. There I stand long at the brink; I look for a policeman to guide and guard my steps; I crane my neck forward from my coign of vantage and count the cabs, the taxicabs, the carriages, the private automobiles, the motor-buses, the express-wagons, and calculate my chances. Then I shrink back. If it is a corner where there ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... to the gallant General: he will do little until he has secured a corner-seat. By hook or by crook Mr. HOUSTON, "the Pirate King," must be induced or compelled to surrender his coign of vantage to the new generalissimo, who will then be able alternately to pour a broadside into the Government or to enfilade the ex-Ministers who aid and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Oct. 24, 1917 • Various

... I will survey the whole prospect from a secure coign of vantage upon the mainland, and trust my impressions thereof may prove of some slight service to you. As I have disclaimed all intention of making this portion of my work a handbook of bowing technique it seems superfluous ...
— The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use - 'The Strad' Library, No. III. • Henry Saint-George

... Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio, President pro tempore of the Senate, was already acting Vice-President. If the Impeachment trial had ended in the conviction of President Johnson, Mr. Wade would have succeeded him for the unexpired term, and from this coign of vantage would doubtless have secured the nomination for the second office. The failure of Impeachment, though fatal to his success, did not dissipate the support which his long services and marked fidelity had commanded, without ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... much to see, after all, as the Reverend Billy remarked when they had reached a coign of vantage below the curve. A string of use-worn bunk cars; a "dinkey" caboose serving as the home on wheels of the chief of construction and his assistant; a crooked siding with a gang of dark-skinned laborers at work unloading a car of steel. These in the immediate foreground; and a little ...
— A Fool For Love • Francis Lynde

... The tokonoma, as the word suggests, must originally have been the sleeping-place of the owner of the room, for it certainly is the only corner in a Japanese house which is secured from draughts. But perhaps it was respect for invisible spirits which drove the sleeper eventually to abandon his coign of vantage to the service of aesthetic beauty, and to stretch himself on ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... caused that cottonwood tree to lodge at such an angle that a buffalo could not climb it, but we could—and we did. Getting ourselves safely into the fork of the tree, we continued to shoot from our coign of vantage till the big fellow dropped. When he ceased to kick or give any sign of belligerency, we came down and approached him, carefully. Then we dressed him, or as much of him as we could carry in two bags that we had strapped ...
— Crossing the Plains, Days of '57 - A Narrative of Early Emigrant Tavel to California by the Ox-team Method • William Audley Maxwell

... rare tidbit. Then his nesting-habits are the most diverse of all. Now he is a tree-builder in the fork of a trunk or on a horizontal branch, then a builder in vines or rosebushes around your porch, then on some coign of vantage about your house or barn, or under the shed, or under a bridge, or in the stone wall, or on the ground above a hedge. I have known him to go into a well and build there on a projecting stone. He even nests beyond the Arctic Circle, ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs



Words linked to "Coign" :   wedge, key, quoin, keystone



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