See caption
Standard return quoin, with one long side over one short side
Source: Designing Buildings Wiki

A quoin is any external angle or corner of a structure,[1] often decorated with quoins – brick or stonework that projects from the face of the wall.[2] The term derives from the French coin, meaning “corner”.[3]

Historically, the term quoin was also used by printers for a small expanding device that held the typeset firmly in place in a frame known as a forme.[4]



Clarke, Michael. “Quoin.” Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, Online, Oxford University Press, 2010,
Curl, James Stevens, and Susan Wilson. “Quoin.” A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2015,
Gorse, Christopher, et al. “Quoins.” A Dictionary of Construction, Surveying and Civil Engineering, Oxford University Press, 2020,
OED. “Quoin, n.” Oxford English Dictionary, Online, Oxford  University Press, 2021,