pin·​prick | \ ˈpin-ˌprik How to pronounce pinprick (audio) \

Definition of pinprick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small puncture made by or as if by a pin
2 : a petty irritation or annoyance


pinpricked; pinpricking; pinpricks

Definition of pinprick (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to administer pinpricks to

intransitive verb

: to administer pinpricks

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Synonyms for pinprick

Synonyms: Noun

perforation, pinhole, prick, punch, puncture, stab

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Examples of pinprick in a Sentence


He felt a pinprick in his leg. the nurse kindly put a decorated bandage over the pinprick from the injection

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, the North is in complete darkness, save for a tiny pinprick of light in Pyongyang. Anchorage Daily News, "Despite the Olympic glow, half of Korea remains in darkness," 18 Feb. 2018 In late 2017, for instance, Kim Sturdavant of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery made an IPA with enzymes that delivered a light, dry body, with pinprick bubbles. Peter Rowe,, "Is the IPA — in all of its dark, white, aged, fresh, sour, sweet versions — here to stay?," 14 June 2018 Ahh, the story of Holmes, the dedicated Stanford dropout who was set to save the world, one pinprick of blood at a time, by inventing, at 19 years old, a blood-testing start-up which was once valued at almost $10 billion. Nick Bilton, The Hive, "“She Absolutely Has Sociopathic Tendencies”: Elizabeth Holmes, Somehow, Is Trying to Start a New Company!," 8 June 2018 But for birds, this brave new world of intensification has meant death by a million pinpricks. Tim Graham, National Geographic, "Around the World, Farmland Birds Are in Steep Decline," 1 June 2018 These cameras need ways to peel faint pinpricks of light away from bright host stars, like finding a firefly sitting on the rim of a distant spotlight. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "These Spinning Disks of Gas and Dust Reveal How Planets Get Made," 28 May 2018 Take Theranos, which pledged to perform tons of tests on just a pinprick of blood. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Verily’s ‘exploding micro-needles’ are a fix for a problem that doesn’t exist," 18 May 2018 This is something that airmen have plenty of practice doing, given the pinprick airstrikes that mark the counter-insurgency efforts in Northern Africa and the Middle East. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Syrian Airstrike Got Help From Space," 24 Apr. 2018 This image is just one-twentieth of the night sky, a mere pinprick of a window into the universe. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Want to feel small? This atlas of the night sky has 1.7 billion stars in it.," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The teeny pinpricks force the skin to heal and build up stronger than before, while the device also deposits serum deeper into the skin. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "What Is Semi-Permanent BB Cream, and Why Are People Getting It Microneedled Into Their Faces?," 9 Nov. 2018 Device testing was conducted at a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, where pinprick blood samples were examined for antibodies to measles and rubella. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Shoebox-sized lab can diagnose infectious diseases from a drop of blood," 25 Apr. 2018 Distorting drops of water pinpricked my face in the basin’s mirror. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "The Illness and Insight of Robert Lowell," 20 Mar. 2017 Bonobo played an aquatically chill set of slow-moving dance music, followed by Four Tet, who kept his tempo but shifted to pinprick-precise, bucolic house. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "FORM Arcosanti, a Music Festival That Thinks Small," 16 May 2016 Distorting drops of water pinpricked my face in the basin’s mirror. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "The Illness and Insight of Robert Lowell," 20 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pinprick.' 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 pinprick


1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1871, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for pinprick

The first known use of pinprick was in 1755

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More Definitions for pinprick



English Language Learners Definition of pinprick

: a small hole that is made by a pin or other sharp tool
: a very small point or dot
: a slight but sharp pain caused by a pin or needle

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Comments on pinprick

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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