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noun \ˈpin\

Simple Definition of pin

  • : a thin, pointed piece of stiff wire with a rounded head at one end that is used especially for fastening pieces of cloth

  • : a thin, pointed piece of stiff wire with a decoration at one end

  • : a small usually circular object that has writing and often a picture on it and that has a pin on the back so that it can be fastened to clothing, bags, etc.

Full Definition of pin

  1. 1 a :  a piece of solid material (as wood or metal) used especially for fastening things together or as a support by which one thing may be suspended from another b obsolete :  the center peg of a target; also :  the center itself c :  something that resembles a pin especially in slender elongated form <an electrical connector pin> d (1) :  one of the pieces constituting the target in various games (as bowling) (2) :  the peg at which a quoit is pitched (3) :  the staff of the flag marking a hole on a golf course e :  a peg for regulating the tension of the strings of a musical instrument f :  the part of a key stem that enters a lock g :  a belaying pin

  2. 2 a (1) :  a very thin small pointed metal pin with a head used especially for fastening cloth (2) :  little, trifle <bother them all! I don't care a pin about them — Bram Stoker> b :  an ornament or emblem fastened to clothing with a pin c (1) :  bobby pin (2) :  hairpin (3) :  safety pin

  3. 3 :  leg —usually used in plural <wobbly on his pins>

  4. 4 :  a fall in wrestling

Examples of pin

  1. He handed out pins with the peace sign on them.

  2. <a cat that was still a little unsteady on its pins after anesthesia>

Origin of pin

Middle English, from Old English pinn (akin to Old High German pfinn peg), perhaps from Latin pinna quill, feather — more at pen

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with pin




Simple Definition of pin

  • : to fasten or attach (something) with a pin

  • : to prevent or stop (someone or something) from moving by holding or pressing firmly against something

Full Definition of pin


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to fasten, join, or secure with a pin b :  to hold fast or immobile c :  to present (a young woman) with a fraternity pin as a pledge of affection

  3. 2 a :  fasten <pinned his hopes on a miracle> <pin the blame on someone else> b :  to assign the blame or responsibility for <pin the robbery on a night watchman> c :  to define or determine clearly or precisely —usually used with down <it is hard to pin down exactly when things changed — Katharine Whittemore>

  4. 3 a :  to make (a chess opponent's piece) unable to move without exposing the king to check or a valuable piece to capture b of a wrestler :  to secure a fall over (an opponent)

Examples of pin

  1. She pinned a rose to her dress.

  2. The general pinned the medal on the soldier.

  3. She pinned up her hair.

  4. He pinned a sign on the wall.

  5. The passengers were pinned under the wreckage.

  6. The guards pinned his arms to his sides.

  7. She was pinned against the side of the car.

14th Century

First Known Use of pin

14th century




Definition of pin

  1. 1 :  of or relating to a pin

  2. 2 of leather :  having a grain suggesting the heads of pins

Circa 1523

First Known Use of pin

circa 1523



Definition of PIN

  1. personal identification number

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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