\ 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

In recent years, that's meant bricks, and the horror-movie guy with the pins in his head. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "This Supreme x Nike Sneaker Is Literally Lit," 11 June 2018 Carmella took advantage of the injury and got the pin to retain the title. Aaron Oster,, "Lackluster Backlash leaves pro wrestling fans frustrated," 7 May 2018 The ball landed 45 feet short of the hole, bounced four times and hit the pin. David Scott, charlotteobserver, "How Jason Day overcame Quail Hollow’s demons to capture Wells Fargo Championship | Charlotte Observer," 6 May 2018 As Catherine unwisely decides to mix painting and politicizing and gin up opposition to the treaty, her stays loosen and her hair escapes its elaborate pins and tucks. Steven Knight, New York Times, "Review: A ‘Woman Walks Ahead,’ and Sitting Bull Stands Up," 28 June 2018 The star wore her pin straight bob parted to the side and slicked behind her ears to reveal huge diamond earrings. Jillian Ruffo,, "Jennifer Lopez Embraces the 2018 Met Gala Theme in the Most JLo Way Possible Alongside Boyfriend Alex Rodriguez," 7 May 2018 Bowlers will knock down their final pins at Uptown in late May. The Corner Alley downtown, a smaller venue on East Fourth Street, will stay open. Marc Bona,, "Opening delayed for Graeter's Ice Cream shop in Orange Village," 1 May 2018 The processor mounts into a socket that catches its pins. Brendan Nystedt, WIRED, "Want to Learn More About Computers? Try Building Your Own PC," 4 Apr. 2018 Starting March 11, 2013, repin three or more of your favorite pins from House Beautiful's Beautiful Black and White Pinterest board. House Beautiful, "Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes: Win a Free Chair!," 25 Jan. 2013

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Robert Mueller, who is leading the obstruction probe, is not known to have pinned anything on him. The Economist, "The case against impeachment," 12 July 2018 The indictment was damning enough: A former police chief of Biscayne Park and two officers charged with falsely pinning four burglaries on a teenager just to impress village leaders with a perfect crime-solving record. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 The assumption was that Putin would rather not be symbolically linked to a Russian defeat — better to pin the potential bad news on his loyal proxy. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia’s World Cup dream ends, on and off the field," 9 July 2018 Of course, as many have tried, the word, its sensibilities, and its proxies have remained elusive and difficult to pin down. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "The Town That Camp Built," 12 July 2018 But Virginia’s governor dispatched two ships to Ocracoke that — despite warnings from Bath — pinned Blackbeard’s sloop into a shallow-water hand-to-hand battle the pirates lost. John Bordsen, USA TODAY, "N.C.'s haul from ‘native son’ Blackbeard's 300th anniversary: Tourist gold," 22 June 2018 Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) He and his EDF colleagues enlisted two dozen government, university, and nonprofit scientists to set out—sometimes on foot—to pin down the numbers. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Natural gas could warm the planet as much as coal in the short term," 21 June 2018 Meanwhile, due to the unique surprise release and staggered rollout of Everything Is Love, a first-week forecast is more difficult to pin down at the moment. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Beyonce & JAY-Z vs. 5 Seconds of Summer for No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart," 20 June 2018 Imagine American soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan, pinned down by enemy fire, the terrain too dangerous for a helicopter rescue mission. Jonathan Hunt, Fox News, "Self-flying vehicle could come to US by 2022," 1 June 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

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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