\ 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) : 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 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


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

Clarke sported a fresh chin-length cut, smoothed pin-straight to ultra-modern effect as well—a fitting complement to her custom Balmain dress with its sculptural, asymmetrical silhouette and shimmering lavender crystal detailing. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Emilia Clarke Debuts a Dramatic New Hair Look on the Oscars Red Carpet," 25 Feb. 2019 At least a dozen Democratic members of Congress made a point of skipping the speech, while many of those who did attend wore pins and scarves in quiet protest of various issues. Alex Seitz-wald, NBC News, "Democrats scoff, boo, groan, glower at Trump’s State of the Union," 31 Jan. 2018 The show's trio of hairstyles—a traditional low ponytail, side ponytail slung over one shoulder, and tall top knot—were practical but quickly elevated with the slapdash fastening of a leather cuff slide secured with a long sleek pin at the base. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Prada Serves Up the Secret to Pulling Off Neon Bright Eye Makeup With Ease," 3 May 2019 The far side landing is a lynch pin for future Chang’e missions, which are planned well into the 2020s. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "China Successfully Lands on Far Side of Moon," 3 Jan. 2019 McCreery was sporting a gold 851 pin on his lapel in honor of the 851 who were injured in the tragic shooting that happened at Route 91 Harvest music festival in October. Rebecca Schiller, Billboard, "Scotty McCreery Talks Vegas Shooting, New Album 'Seasons Change' & Upcoming Wedding: Watch," 16 Apr. 2018 Fire department board member John Bender presented a pin to Glassman recognizing his past service as the organization’s vice president. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Aberdeen's Chuck Glassman honored for service to community," 28 Mar. 2018 In one scene, she's got on this pin-straight Off-White shirt that’s power in the front and a bit of femininity in the back with a waterfall ruffle. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Little’s Costume Designer Danielle Hollowell On Dressing Marsai Martin," 12 Apr. 2019 Straight-pin faux chrysanthemums around face for mane. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many of the 168 who died that day were pinned there. Steven Goode,, "His mother died saving his life during the Hartford Circus Fire, but Jerry LeVasseur turned a catastrophe into a lifetime of opportunity," 6 July 2019 The veil was pinned on the back of her heard, showing off her stunning wavy bridal hair. Meagan Fredette,, "Sophie Turner's Wedding Waves Are A Gorgeous & Easy Summer Look," 5 July 2019 The trucker initially survived, but was pinned in the wreckage. CBS News, "18-wheeler plunges 150 feet off Houston bridge; driver dies during rescue attempt," 3 July 2019 Nine-years after the first photo was pinned online, teachers continue to drive some of the platform’s most popular search trends. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "How former teachers are making $100,000 or more, and you can too.," 1 July 2019 After crashing, Kiki the cat’s owner and partner Gary is pinned down on their ship. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Gato Roboto is a streamlined Metroid starring a cat in a mech," 30 June 2019 During Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, Bellavia's platoon was pinned down while clearing a block of houses. Fox News, "Trump to give Medal of Honor to former Army staff sergeant who rescued entire squad in Iraq," 25 June 2019 On the morning of June 25, 1944, near Fort du Roule, guarding the approaches to Cherbourg, France, 1st Lt. Ogden’s company was pinned down by fire from a German 88-mm. Les Francis, The Mercury News, "Opinion: A San Jose WWII hero has much to teach the world," 25 June 2019 Stephenson died of a lack of oxygen after being pinned beneath Serres’ pickup truck, a coroner determined. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Dakota County driver pleads guilty to being drunk in Valentine’s Day crash that killed girlfriend," 21 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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 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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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

Comments on pin

What made you want to look up pin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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