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

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 The next day, Megan noticed a small pinprick on her arm, surrounded by a bruise and paired with an ache that bothered her for a few days. Matilda Martin,, 21 Oct. 2021 The vaccination felt like most others — a slight pinprick in M.'s upper arm, followed by the application of a Band-Aid and advice to monitor the injection site for any unusual reactions. NBC News, 1 Oct. 2021 The photo of Spears's right foot shows the wound, which looks like a pinprick with a bruise around it. Maggie O'neill,, 10 Sep. 2021 People peered into the charcoal-gray night trying to keep the boat in sight and to spot a yellow-red pinprick. Marguerite Holloway, The New Yorker, 31 Aug. 2021 But two American service members were wounded this month during a rocket barrage after the last pinprick U.S. retaliation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 July 2021 One of Kitamura’s gifts, though, is to inject every scene with a pinprick of dread. New York Times, 14 July 2021 But then another lit up a pinprick of darkness, then another. Leslie Barker, Dallas News, 29 June 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At this height, the real thing looks fake, a composite of toy skyscrapers, tinfoil rivers, pinprick traffic lights, Central Park the size of a welcome mat, and some sort of nature in the hazy distance. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 21 Oct. 2021 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinprick was in 1755

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Dictionary Entries Near pinprick

pin pool


pin punch

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Statistics for pinprick

Last Updated

15 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pinprick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 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 : pinhole
: a very small point or dot
: a slight but sharp pain caused by a pin or needle


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