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pigeonhole

noun pi·geon·hole \ ˈpi-jən-ˌhōl \
|Updated on: 19 Jun 2018

Definition of pigeonhole

1 : a hole or small recess for pigeons to nest
2 : a small open compartment (as in a desk or cabinet) for keeping letters or documents
3 : a neat category which usually fails to reflect actual complexities

Recent Examples of pigeonhole from the Web

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

First Known Use of pigeonhole

1577

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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pigeonhole

verb

Definition of pigeonhole

1 a : to place in or as if in the pigeonhole of a desk
b : to lay aside : shelve
  • his reports continued to be pigeonholed and his advice not taken
  • —Walter Mills
2 : to assign to an often restrictive category : classify

pigeonholer

play \ˈpi-jən-ˌhō-lər\ noun

Examples of pigeonhole in a Sentence

  1. She likes to perform different types of music because she doesn't want to be pigeonholed.

Recent Examples of pigeonhole from the Web

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

First Known Use of pigeonhole

1840

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


PIGEONHOLE Defined for English Language Learners

pigeonhole

Definition of pigeonhole for English Language Learners

  • : a small open space in a desk, cabinet, or wall for keeping letters or papers

  • —used to say that someone or something is being unfairly thought of or described as belonging to a particular group, having only a particular skill, etc.


pigeonhole

Definition of pigeonhole for English Language Learners

  • : to unfairly think of or describe (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group, having only a particular skill, etc.



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