From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Note: In stone, the quoins consist of blocks larger than those used in the rest of the building, and cut to dimension. In brickwork, quoins consist of groups or masses of brick laid together, and in a certain imitation of quoins of stone.
2. A wedgelike piece of stone, wood, metal, or other material, used for various purposes; as: (a) (Masonry) To support and steady a stone. (b) (Gun.) To support the breech of a cannon. (c) (Print.) To wedge or lock up a form within a chase. (d) (Naut.) To prevent casks from rolling.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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