bod·​kin | \ ˈbäd-kən How to pronounce bodkin (audio) \

Definition of bodkin

b : a sharp slender instrument for making holes in cloth
c : an ornamental hairpin shaped like a stiletto
2 : a blunt needle with a large eye for drawing tape or ribbon through a loop or hem

Examples of bodkin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Punishment for cursing or disparaging a clergyman was having a bodkin — a large needle — driven through the tongue. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Experts have uncovered remains at America’s first permanent colony. But whose bones are they?," 27 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bodkin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bodkin

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bodkin

Middle English bodekin

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The first known use of bodkin was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bodkin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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