Definition of the Cinque Ports from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Cinque Ports

 
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a group of towns on the south-east coast of England that had the responsibility of protecting the coast and providing most of the English navy from the 11th to the 14th centuries. 'Cinque' is an old French word meaning 'five'. The original five towns were Dover, Hastings, Hythe, Romney and Sandwich. Later Rye and Winchelsea were added to the group.