\ ˈpin \

Definition of pin

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a piece of solid material (such 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 (such 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
2a(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 : leg usually used in plural wobbly on his pins
4 : a fall in wrestling


pinned; pinning

Definition of pin (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
3a : 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)



Definition of pin (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : of or relating to a pin
2 of leather : having a grain suggesting the heads of pins
\ ˈpin \

Definition of PIN (Entry 4 of 4)

personal identification number

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Synonyms for pin

Synonyms: Noun


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Examples of pin in a Sentence


He handed out pins with the peace sign on them. a cat that was still a little unsteady on its pins after anesthesia


She pinned a rose to her dress. The general pinned the medal on the soldier. She pinned up her hair. He pinned a sign on the wall. The passengers were pinned under the wreckage. The guards pinned his arms to his sides. She was pinned against the side of the car.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tack-nail each part using a pneumatic pin nailer or a hammer in a few brads. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Three Ways to Build Your Own Shelves," 24 Jan. 2019 Three days later, a surgeon put plates and pins in her arm. Robin Abcarian,, "Bird scooters — so much fun, so damn dangerous," 6 July 2018 With 100,000 pins, this sausage, potato, and green bean foil packet is one of Pinterest's favorites. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "9 Healthy Foods Pinterest Can't Wait to Make in 2019," 16 Jan. 2019 But the dress’s kicker is its asymmetrical hem, which features a jagged piece of pin-striped fabric. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Blake Lively Wears Monse Deconstructed Jacket Dress," 12 Jan. 2019 The tablet nests easily into the dock using pogo pins. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Lenovo builds Amazon Alexa into its Smart Tab M10 and P10 Android tablets," 8 Jan. 2019 Then Belgium drew level when Hazard's pin-point ball found Fellaini in the middle and the Manchester United midfielder unleashed an unstoppable header on 74 minutes. Ryland James,, "Chadli fires Belgium into World Cup's last eight," 2 July 2018 Actresses wore black on the red carpet and many men sported #TimesUp pins to signal solidarity, and the night was filled with speeches and statements. Vox, "Golden Globes 2019: winners, nominations, and biggest moments," 6 Dec. 2018 The collection features double-breasted jackets, trousers, silk shirts, kilts, a beret, tights and pins — all in Westwood’s iconic designs, reimagined in Burberry’s vintage check pattern. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Moss Stars in Vivienne Westwood's and Burberry's Collab Campaign," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The simple, dark dress seemed to have been chose in part to show off the red poppy of remembrance that was pinned to it. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore an Olive Green Shirtdress to the Invictus Games Closing Ceremony," 27 Oct. 2018 Tacio said rescuers were working Sunday to pull out another victim who was pinned down by rocks and mud. Fox News, "Dozens feared trapped in Philippines as Typhoon Mangkhut pummels southern China," 16 Sep. 2018 The uncovering of Hemingway’s misogyny and the manipulations that are pinned to it is, per their logic, an impermissible act of literary evaluation. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 Among other things, that information allowed scientists to finally pin down exactly how massive Saturn’s rings really are. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Rings Are Much Younger Than You Might Think," 18 Jan. 2019 Lately, Pinterest users have especially been loving oxtail recipes like this slow-cooker bean dish, which has been pinned over 30,000 times. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "9 Healthy Foods Pinterest Can't Wait to Make in 2019," 16 Jan. 2019 Along with a host of statement Lorraine Schwartz jewels, Blake teamed the dress with bedazzled gold Louboutin heels, and huge, voluminous, pinned-back curls for the perfect finishing touch. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Blake Lively's Silver Chainmail Dress and Huge Curls are Your Ultimate Holiday Party Inspiration," 3 Dec. 2018 Michael Pence was among seven pilots pinned with golden wings Friday at Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi. Fox News, "Vice president's son completes Navy training in Mississippi," 28 Sep. 2018 So with myriad tools for tracking time in our pockets, what’s making friend dates so hard to pin down? Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "A Cancellation Plague Is Upon Us—and It's Ruining Our Female Friendships," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Timex, whose watch output through the 1970s was still mostly pin-lever mechanicals, had become the world’s top watch company in sales through a policy of cut-throat price-cutting that wiped out competitors., "Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets With President Trump," 27 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of pin


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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


circa 1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pin


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

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Statistics for pin

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for pin

The first known use of pin was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for pin



English Language Learners Definition of pin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.



English Language Learners Definition of pin (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fasten or attach (something) with a pin
: to prevent or stop (someone or something) from moving by holding or pressing firmly against something


\ ˈpin \

Kids Definition of pin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small pointed piece of wire with a rounded head used especially for fastening pieces of cloth
2 : something (as an ornament or badge) fastened to the clothing by a pin
3 : a slender pointed piece (as of wood or metal) usually having the shape of a cylinder used to fasten articles together or in place
4 : one of ten pieces set up as the target in bowling


pinned; pinning

Kids Definition of pin (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fasten or join with a pin She pinned a sign on the wall.
2 : to prevent or be prevented from moving The guards pinned his arms to his sides.


\ ˈpin \

Medical Definition of pin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a metal rod driven into or through a fractured bone to immobilize it
2 : a metal rod driven into the root of a reconstructed tooth to provide support for a crown or into the jaw to provide support for an artificial tooth
pinned; pinning

Medical Definition of pin (Entry 2 of 3)

: to fasten, join, or secure with a pin

Medical Definition of PIN (Entry 3 of 3)

prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia

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More from Merriam-Webster on pin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pin

Spanish Central: Translation of pin

Nglish: Translation of pin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pin

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