AskDefine | Define quinary

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Of fifth rank or order.
  2. Consisting of five things; arranged in fives
  3. To the base of five; represented by the numerals 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Extensive Definition

Quinary (base-) is a numeral system with five as the base. This originates from the five fingers on either hand.
In the quinary place system, five numerals from 0 to 4, are used to represent any real number. According to this method, five is written as 10, twenty-five is written as 100 and sixty is written as 220.


Many languages use quinary number systems, including Gumatj, Nunggubuyu,, Kuurn Kopan Noot and Saraveca. Of these, Gumatj is the only true "5-25" language known, in which 25 is the higher group of 5. The Gumatj numerals are shown below: A decimal system with 5 as a sub-base is called biquinary, and is found in Wolof and Khmer. A vigesimal system with 5 as a sub-base is found in Nahuatl and the Maya numerals.
Roman numerals are a biquinary system. The numbers 1, 5, 10, and 50 are written as I, V, X, and L respectively. Eight is VIII and seventy is LXX.
The Chinese and Japanese versions of the abacus use a biquinary system to simulate a decimal system for ease of calculation.
Urnfield culture numerals and some tally mark systems are also biquinary.


See also

External links

quinary in Catalan: Sistema quinari
quinary in Spanish: Sistema quinario
quinary in French: Système quinaire
quinary in Korean: 오진법
quinary in Haitian: Sistèm kinè
quinary in Hungarian: Ötös számrendszer
quinary in Marathi: पंचमान पद्धत
quinary in Japanese: 五進法
quinary in Thai: เลขฐานห้า
quinary in Chinese: 五進位
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