noun (1)
pin·​ion | \ ˈpin-yən How to pronounce pinion (audio) \

Definition of pinion

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the terminal section of a bird's wing including the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges broadly : wing


pinioned; pinioning; pinions

Definition of pinion (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to disable or restrain by binding the arms
b : to bind fast : shackle
2 : to restrain (a bird) from flight especially by cutting off the pinion of one wing


noun (2)

Definition of pinion (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a gear with a small number of teeth designed to mesh with a larger wheel or rack
2 : the smaller of a pair or the smallest of a train of gear wheels

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Other Words from pinion

Noun (1)

pinioned \ ˈpin-​yənd How to pronounce pinion (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pinion

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of pinion in a Sentence

Verb They pinioned his arms behind his back. Joan of Arc was pinioned to a stake and burned as a heretic.

First Known Use of pinion

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1558, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pinion

Noun (1)

Middle English, probably modification of Anglo-French *empignon, enpenoun flight feathers, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *pinnion-, pinnio, from Latin pinna feather — more at pen

Noun (2)

French pignon, from Middle French peignon, from peigne comb, from Latin pecten — more at pectinate

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Time Traveler for pinion

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinion was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pinion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pinion



English Language Learners Definition of pinion

: to tie up (someone's arms or legs) very tightly


pin·​ion | \ ˈpin-yən How to pronounce pinion (audio) \
pinioned; pinioning

Kids Definition of pinion

1 : to restrain by tying the arms to the body
2 : to tie up or hold tightly The guards pinioned the prisoner's arms.
3 : to prevent a bird from flying especially by cutting off the end of one wing

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