king·​pin | \ ˈkiŋ-ˌpin How to pronounce kingpin (audio) \

Definition of kingpin

1 : the chief person in a group or undertaking
2 : any of several bowling pins: such as
a : headpin
b : the pin that stands in the middle of a triangular arrangement of bowling pins
3a : kingbolt
b : a pin connecting the two parts of a knuckle joint (as in an automobile steering linkage)

Examples of kingpin in a Sentence

kingpins of the movie industry a police sting that nabbed several kingpins of the city's drug trade
Recent Examples on the Web With gasoline prices near record highs and inflation fears mounting, Biden visited OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia last month. Matt Egan, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 Arellano’s rise to drug kingpin, and his family’s control of the lucrative Tijuana smuggling corridor in the 1990s, are now part of narco lore. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 July 2022 Last week, viewers saw drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) dispatch an adversary, and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) trying to keep Gus, Jimmy/Saul and Kim safe, a task that has proven to be harder than expected. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Mexican drug kingpin Rafael Caro-Quintero, wanted in the 1985 killing of a U.S. anti-narcotics agent, has been detained in Mexico, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News Friday evening. Anne Laurent, ABC News, 15 July 2022 On Better Call Saul right now: Cop-turned-parking-attendant-turned-hitman Mike is coordinating security for his kingpin boss Gus Fring as Gus’ operation comes under siege from the unpredictable Lalo Salamanca. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 5 July 2022 The ecommerce kingpin’s advertising service sales hit $7.88 billion, up 25% year over year, but analysts expected a higher take. Todd Spangler, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 Drug kingpin is the title most people associate with the older Lewis. Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2021 Federal authorities originally charged Ravenell with racketeering, drug conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly helping a multistate marijuana operation run by drug kingpin and nightclub owner Richard Byrd. Lee O. Sanderlin, Washington Post, 25 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of kingpin

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of kingpin was in 1773

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Dictionary Entries Near kingpin

king penguin


king plank

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Statistics for kingpin

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kingpin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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