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

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Examples of pinprick in a Sentence

Noun 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 Because of pandemic limitations, Zubieta recorded each part by himself; the edited piece, with its pinprick tinkles and squalls of booming rushes, now haunts the gallery at regular intervals. New York Times, 19 Feb. 2021 In the distance, two pinprick white lights emerge from the blackness. James Nestor, Scientific American, 12 Feb. 2018 According to the architect’s plans, this room was to be the master bath—a cocoon of curving plaster shimmering with pinprick lights. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2020 And so one might be cowed by the monumental negative space surrounding that pinprick of light that this award represents. Dorany Pineda Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2020 In fact, at least one study showed the Wondfo tests were only about 55% accurate when performed as a finger pinprick blood test. Vianna Davila, ProPublica, 25 Sep. 2020 Tornado damage is often a pinprick—homes on one side of a street are demolished, while the other side is untouched—unlike hurricanes and floods, which wipe out communities. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, 24 Sep. 2020 And they have been particularly distraught by the constant mentions of it in conversations and in the news, inescapable reminders that resurface their own losses like a pinprick. New York Times, 20 Sep. 2020 The heads of more recent scorpion species are adorned with multiple rows of beady, pinprick eyes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Jan. 2020 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, 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, 25 Apr. 2018 Distorting drops of water pinpricked my face in the basin’s mirror. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, 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, 16 May 2016 Distorting drops of water pinpricked my face in the basin’s mirror. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, 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

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The first known use of pinprick was in 1755

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Cite this Entry

“Pinprick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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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