\ 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

Some wore red lapel pins favored by North Korean officials. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Never Take Their Photos: Tracking the Commandos, North Korea’s Secret Export," 9 Dec. 2018 Many wore pins trumpeting movements like Time's Up or ribbons highlighting left-leaning organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union. NBC News, "Robert De Niro drops the F-bomb on Trump — twice — at Tonys," 11 June 2018 Dozens of bodyguards wearing red pins and earpieces stood inside a velvet rope line cordoning off part of the lobby at the luxury hotel. Victoria Kim,, "'It's him! Trump!' Kim and 'Ultimate Donald' impersonators turn heads in Singapore," 10 June 2018 In a tribute to Taylor, who died in December, members of the Congressional Black Caucus will also wear red pins. The Washington Post,, "Rep. Joseph Kennedy to deliver Democrats' response to Trump's State of the Union address," 26 Jan. 2018 The Orphan Black star accessorized her lime green and black Christian Siriano jumpsuit with a subtle, but meaningful Planned Parenthood pin. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Most Political Moments at the 2018 Emmy Awards," 18 Sep. 2018 From a lazy bun that's perfect for a quick hair change to the mascara that many swear by, some of our favorite makeup finds have started with just a pin. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Purple Eyeshadow Is Trending on Pinterest," 21 Aug. 2018 Thursday saw the hole play at 205 yards, instead of possibly 250, with the pin up. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "No. 5 is 'by far the hardest' at Colonial, but the hole right before it is eagle-proof | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 May 2018 Lopez won the 106-pound JV county title as a sophomore with four first-period pins but missed the postseason last year due to an injury. Tim Schwartz, Howard County Times, "Mt. Hebron senior Cassy Lopez becomes first woman to sign National Letter of Intent to Division-I wrestling program," 3 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eventually, Bogan was able to pin the man down and gain control of the knife, but the attacker still fought back. Andy Nguyen,, "‘It was just completely savage’: Good Samaritan recounts stopping knife attack at Burbank restaurant," 29 June 2018 Advertising Major talking points for Democrats who had pinned great hopes on Mueller may have vanished. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Mueller report reprieve becomes Trump’s re-election weapon," 25 Mar. 2019 About a dashing Highlander, Jamie, who pined for her for 20 years. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 12 Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways," 21 Jan. 2019 After years spent pining for another historical Total War game, last year’s Thrones of Britannia met with tepid response. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Call of Duty's battle royale is free-to-try, Steam moved 15 exabytes of data in 2018," 18 Jan. 2019 The truth is out now about what the company was really pining for. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "We freaked out over Amazon’s HQ2 search. But it turned out to be for all the wrong reasons," 13 Nov. 2018 This wasn’t a matter of change-averse veterans pining for the good old days; Destiny 2 had unquestionably lost whatever magic kept Destiny hobbyists around for hundreds—even thousands—of hours. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Destiny 2: Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back," 19 Sep. 2018 My clients can come once a season and their wardrobe can be bought, and pinned for alterations in an hour. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Silicon Valley Style Gets an Upgrade With the Newest Jeffrey Boutique," 30 Aug. 2018 Along with leaving us pining for a red corduroy jacket of our own, Selena also gave us some serious hair inspiration. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Wears Red, White and Blue for a Reunion with “Wizards of Waverly Place” Star David Henrie," 5 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

16 May 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

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