\ ˈpin How to pronounce pin (audio) \
plural pins

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; pins

Definition of pin (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to fasten, join, or secure with a pin She pinned the corsage to her dress. … all the big brass is standing at attention and the biggest brass of all is waiting to pin a medal on my chest …— Ray Russell
b : to hold fast or immobile The three men held him pinned against the wall …— Joseph Conrad Rescue crews freed the people who were pinned under the wreckage. (figurative) They were pinned down by enemy fire. — see also pin down
c : to present (a young woman) with a fraternity pin as a pledge of affection
2a : to make (something) contingent or dependent : fasten usually used with on Pinterest is pinning its future on Wall Street, with the digital scrapbooking site … filing for an initial public offering of stock.— Rebecca Bellan — see also pin one's hopes on
b : to assign the blame or responsibility for They tried to pin the robbery on a night watchman — see also pin the blame on
c : to define or determine clearly or precisely usually used with down it is hard to pin down exactly when things changed— Katharine Whittemore
d computers : to fix (something, such as a message, a file, or an icon) in place for convenient viewing or access This is one of the most useful features of the new Twitter—you can pin a tweet on your profile so that it stays on top …— Luana Spinetti "Need to pin a file or a message to the channel so people can access it quickly and easily? No problem!" Slack said in a blog post on the new feature today.— Jordan Novet Many companies scrambled to get their heads around how to use their existing technology infrastructure to work remotely. For them, Microsoft Teams was just an icon pinned to their menu bar that lay dormant.Property Week
3a : to make (a chess opponent's piece) unable to move without exposing the king to check or a valuable piece to capture The white queen pins the black bishop.
b of a wrestler : to secure a fall (see fall entry 2 sense 9c(1)) over (an opponent) In five years of wrestling at Exeter, I probably pinned no more than a half-dozen opponents. I was almost never pinned—only twice, in fact.— John Irving



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

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 Then there was a shot from a fairway bunker at No. 16 that might have been his best of the day, a high fade that shaped around the water, landed at the front of the narrow green and curled round to 12 feet from the pin. Steve Douglas, ajc, 21 Nov. 2021 In the playoff, Azevedo landed his shot out of the bunker 6 feet from the pin before holing out., 15 Oct. 2021 The low-flying ball cleared the water and rolled onto the green, 15 feet from the pin, although Smith missed his birdie chance. The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Aug. 2021 Schauffele pulled his second shot to the left and the ball landed 43 feet from the pin. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021 Once the path was cleared, Garcia’s shot finished hole-high, only 28 feet from the pin. Dallas News, 28 May 2021 But the fragility of the Lakers’ hopes was on full display Tuesday when James rolled his left ankle and slammed his hand repeatedly onto the court, like a wrestling referee counting a pin. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2021 The girls finals saw five wrestlers with undefeated records take the mat and four came away with victories via pin — three of which occurred in the first period. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Dec. 2021 An oblong pebble became a dynamic counterbalance to a sterling silver line in a pin, while her clever playfulness with material transformed Plexiglas into what looked like ebony. Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harmony, who would be seven years old now and whose mother has said is blind in one eye, remains missing as state officials look for where to pin responsibility. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 21 Jan. 2022 While learning is lost and parents are inconvenienced when schools needlessly close, schools shouldn’t be blamed for erring on the side of caution given a forecast even the best meteorologists can’t pin down. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2022 Putting the blame on the mail, especially from a country like Canada, which maintains chilly relations with Beijing, is a convenient excuse for the government to deflect blame and pin the source of the outbreak elsewhere. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 18 Jan. 2022 The Treasury officials were quick to pin this on Republican lawmakers who have blocked efforts to boost funding to the agency. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 15 Jan. 2022 Both Boeing and the government still would have been highly incentivized to find someone to legally pin most of the blame on, and Forkner still would have been an appealing target for everyone involved. Ankush Khardori, The New Republic, 12 Jan. 2022 Neil Bradley, the Chamber's chief policy officer, pushed back on efforts from the White House to pin some of the blame for high inflation on market concentration. Matt Egan, CNN, 11 Jan. 2022 But rather than try to pin the Steelers deep, Sam Koch turned a punt into a fake punt. Jonas Shaffer,, 9 Jan. 2022 The disarray comes as airlines pin their hopes on a rebound next summer. New York Times, 3 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Today, some fans buy designer versions from pin-happy fashion brands like Loewe and Gucci, while others are collecting vintage brooches. Rory Satran, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2022 The pin approach sprouted another tricky problem: pins make pinholes. Quanta Magazine, 3 Dec. 2021 As dusk fell on Monday evening, the group sent a pin location from the no man’s land at the heart of a bitter geopolitical standoff that has turned into a life-and-death gamble. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2021 At that point, the image onscreen shimmers as the iPhone switches to the ultra wide camera and your subject springs into pin-sharp focus, revealing details that most phone cameras can’t. David Phelan, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 Making this trend even more approachable than the pin top is the number of shoppable options already available on the market. Eliza Huber,, 17 Sep. 2021 Several greens have been expanded to its original size and allow for more pin placements (and more roll-offs)., 19 June 2021 For 90 magical minutes on Sunday, La Jolla Playhouse’s season-opening world premiere of Charlayne Woodard’s play held the audience suspended in pin-drop silence. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021 Red oaks often crossbreed with pin oaks, and the resulting trees will be yellow and sick in our clay soils. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 20 Sep. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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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
: brooch



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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on pin

Nglish: Translation of pin for Spanish Speakers

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


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