cotter pin


: a half-round metal strip bent into a pin whose ends can be flared after insertion through a slot or hole

Examples of cotter pin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Take care to get the burner tubes back into proper position with cotter pins or screws. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2023 The burner tubes on most gas grills are removable, too; look for a single screw or cotter pin on one end of each tube. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, 23 Apr. 2021 Someone stole a Bluetooth speaker, a foot brake pedal cotter pin and cut electrical wiring from a parked motorcycle in the 100 block of South Marion Street between 9 a.m. May 27 and 1 p.m. May 29. Pioneer Press Staff,, 3 June 2019 Most gas grill burner tubes are removable as well (look for simple cotter pins on one end, although some models use screws). Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, 14 May 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cotter pin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cotter pin was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near cotter pin

Cite this Entry

“Cotter pin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

cotter pin

: a half-round metal strip bent into a pin whose ends can be spread apart after insertion through a slot or hole

More from Merriam-Webster on cotter pin

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