\ ˈpin How to pronounce pin (audio) \

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 : leg usually used in pluralwobbly 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 downit 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 How to pronounce PIN (audio) \

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

Noun He handed out pins with the peace sign on them. a cat that was still a little unsteady on its pins after anesthesia Verb 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 Match winners by pin for Brother Martin were Ethan Castex (126 pounds), Quinn Williams (145), Eli Hope (152), Nicholas Malek (220) and Adam Bourgeois (285). Chris Dabe,, "Brother Martin wrestling wins duel between reigning state team champions; Coleman, Grubbs honored," 31 Dec. 2020 Perfect returned to the ring where Hart gained the winning pin for an unofficial if crowd-pleasing conclusion. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "A legendary 1989 WWF match in Anchorage is one of the last holy grails in pro wrestling," 28 Dec. 2020 Nathan Espenschied of Hinckley earned Honors College pin, signifying completion of at least half of the honors credits needed prior to graduation. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Local residents earn collegiate honors," 25 Dec. 2020 Remove the wings at the first joint, then take a propane torch or the burner on your stove to singe away the delicate pin feathers. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "How to Wax-Pluck a Wild Goose for Christmas Dinner," 23 Dec. 2020 Using Zoom and FaceTime with coordinated videos, DeMarco has started Wiseman on the basics: pick-and-roll coverages and fundamentals of defending in the post and on pin-downs. Rusty Simmons,, "First-round pick James Wiseman has Warriors thrilled about this season — and those to come," 20 Dec. 2020 Finally, Winchester recalled the 100 in 1990, due to a potentially dangerous firing-pin malfunction. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "6 Classic Rifles for Tracking Deer," 18 Dec. 2020 For one, Lincoln-Way Central’s Sean Curran smashing a drive pin-high left of the green on the par-4, 400-yard No. 9 hole at Lick Creek during the Class 3A Pekin Sectional. Pat Disabato,, "Column: Highlights from a truncated 2020? A jaw-dropping slam dunk. A mammoth drive in boys golf. A birdie run in girls golf.," 11 Dec. 2020 Instead of getting paid to shop, though, you supposedly get paid to be a COVID-19 vaccine pin cushion. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Scams likely to heat up after COVID-19 vaccine rollout," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hoke was evasive during Tuesday’s weekly Zoom news conference when those asking questions tried to pin him down on his starting quarterback against the Wolf Pack. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs deciding between Carson Baker and Lucas Johnson at quarterback," 17 Nov. 2020 Taco Bell tried to pin the $42 million bill on TBWA, and that’s where Emhoff came in. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Doug Emhoff went from being Hollywood’s go-to lawyer to America’s second gentleman," 11 Nov. 2020 Young noted that Galvin has received campaign funds from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and has repeatedly throughout the campaign tried to pin Galvin to the California Democrat. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Galvin, Young accuse each of other of lying during debate," 23 Oct. 2020 Trump and Pence have tried especially hard to pin their rivals down on expanding the Supreme Court. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump and Pence try to push Biden and Harris into the arms of the Left," 8 Oct. 2020 Throughout his first term, reporters have repeatedly tried to pin Trump down on these questions, and his answers have always been equivocal at best. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Trump and the Limits of Content Moderation," 30 Sep. 2020 The dime package was not able to be utilized much because the Bruins had so much success on first and second down that there were few instances for the Ducks to pin their ears back on third down. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "15 takeaways from Oregon Ducks’ win over UCLA," 22 Nov. 2020 The Cowboys' pass rushers can really pin their ears back and attack the pocket without much fear that the 38-year-old will escape. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 bold predictions for Cowboys-Steelers, including a big day for Dallas’ pass rush," 6 Nov. 2020 The company will, for the first time, pin information to the top of users’ timelines about how to vote, as well as a notice that voting results may not come immediately on Election Day — two common topics for misinformation across social media. Mike Isaac, New York Times, "Twitter to Highlight Accurate Voting Information," 28 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Woods hits 308 yards to the tee to get around the bank of trees to the left and set up a clear line of sight to the pin 152 yards away. Los Angeles Times, "Dustin Johnson holds four-stroke lead at Masters; Tiger Woods falls back," 14 Nov. 2020 Too many people have invested too much of their professional identities in the court and its certifications, despite the fact that no wine career actually requires a master sommelier pin. Esther Mobley,, "The Court of Master Sommeliers’ sexual misconduct scandal could render it irrelevant," 12 Nov. 2020 Each of the one-inch spheres, called Dragon Eggs, contains potassium permanganate, and just before they are released they are given a pin injection of anti-freeze. David Helvarg, National Geographic, "Fireball-dropping drones and the new technology helping fight fires," 16 Oct. 2020 Farman-Farma’s own look is likewise built around such pieces, in lightweight linen and cotton, embellished with delicate ribboning and pin tucks. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "In Connecticut, a House That Blurs the Boundaries of Time and Place," 30 Sep. 2020 Scott does, however, like a multi-pin slider sight. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The Myth of the Western Hunting Bow," 11 Sep. 2020 Specifically, the research team is interested in pin tumbler locks, which use a series of protruding pins to keep the internal plug from rotating unless a user inserts the correct key. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How Hackers Can Pick Your Locks Just By Listening," 10 Sep. 2020 This method also leaves the least amount of damage in its wake, since simple nail holes can be as small as pin dots. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "How to Hang a Picture Like a Pro," 2 Sep. 2020 After tiring of seeing non-Black women appropriate these hairstyles, people on Black Twitter shared a few hairstyles, like fishtail braids or pin curls, that are better suited for straight and wavy textures that white women typically have. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Why '70s Hair Tutorials Are Suddenly Going Viral," 27 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pin

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for pin


How to pronounce PIN (audio)

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 How to pronounce pin (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pin (audio) \

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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