Recently I was looking at the X-Men box set and saw that currently five have been released.

I had it in my head that these would be called a quintology but I have seen them being called a pentalogy.

I assume both words are interchangeable, but is one of the terms preferred over the other, or is it a matter of taste?


Pentalogy is the "correct" (as these things go) term. It comes from penta + logy which are both Greek. Quintology, on the other hand, is a mixture of Latin and Greek roots, a practice which is not linguistically kosher. Similarly, it should be tetralogy rather than quadrilogy.

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    "Television? No good will come of it. A bastard word, half Greek, half Latin." (C P Scott, usually quoted with three words omitted). – TimLymington Mar 6 '13 at 18:59
  • I assume the term pentuple would be used instead of quintuple as well? – PriestVallon Mar 6 '13 at 23:52
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    In the case of quintuple, you have two Latin roots: quintus (five) and plus (fold), although Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary points out that plus is akin to both the Latin word plenum (full) and the Greek word pleion (more). – Sven Yargs Mar 7 '13 at 0:47
  • @SvenYargs: the Latin for -fold is actually -plex, as in triplex and quintuplex – TimLymington Mar 7 '13 at 13:25

Pentad and quincunx could also be used. The latter more often describes a pattern with five coplanar points, such as ones found on dominoes or dice.

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