American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- A group of seaports of southeast England (originally Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich) that formed a maritime and defensive association in the 11th century. They reached the height of their significance in the Anglo-French conflicts of the 14th century.
- n. A series of five historic coastal towns in Kent and Sussex; namely, Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich.
GNU Webster's 1913
- (Eng. Hist.) Five English ports, to which peculiar privileges were anciently accorded; -- viz., Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich; afterwards increased by the addition of Winchelsea, Rye, and some minor places.
- From Anglo-Norman. (Wiktionary)
“II ordered the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports to take measures to prevent their invasion of his kingdom.”
“ Lord Hawkesbury was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports at a salary of L3000 a year.”
“Mr. Camden observes that the town of Foy quarters some part of the arms of every one of those Cinque Ports with their own, intimating that they had at several times trampled over them all.”
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