Cinque Ports [singk] EXAMPLES|WORD ORIGIN plural noun a former association of maritime towns in SE England: originally (1278) numbering five (Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich) and receiving special privileges in return for aiding in the naval defense of England.
Origin of Cinque Ports 1275–1325; Middle English cink pors Old French cink porz. See, Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 Examples from the Web for cinque ports Historical Examples of cinque ports
We here refitted and victualled our ship, and were joined by the Cinque-ports, and left Kinsale on the 11th September.
British Dictionary definitions for cinque ports Cinque Ports pl n an association of ports on the SE coast of England, originally consisting of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich, which from late Anglo-Saxon times provided ships for the king’s service in return for the profits of justice in their courts. The Cinque Ports declined with the growth of other ports and surrendered their charters in 1685 Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Word Origin and History for cinque ports Cinque Ports n.
late 12c. (in Anglo-Latin), late 13c. (in English), from Latin quinque portus (see+ (n.1)). 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper