A person who is by descent fifteen-sixteenths white and one-sixteenth black; one who is fifth in descent from an African. [One of a number of terms formerly used to designate degrees of racial mixture, and now considered offensive; compare quadroon, terceroon, octoroon, etc.].
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Edward Bancroft (1744–1821), chemist and spy. Probably partly from Spanish quinterón, and partly from French quinteron, with remodelling of the ending after quadroon; compare -oon.