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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for pinprick

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 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, "The Art of Building the Impossible," 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, "The virtual 2020 National Book Awards were an emotional roller coaster with a hopeful kick," 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, "The COVID-19 Charmer: How a Self-Described Felon Convinced Elected Officials to Try to Help Him Profit From the Pandemic," 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, "Migrating Tornadoes Bring Heightened Danger to the Southeast," 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, "With Flags, Crosses and Photos, Mourning 200,000 Dead," 20 Sep. 2020 The heads of more recent scorpion species are adorned with multiple rows of beady, pinprick eyes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "World’s Oldest Scorpions May Have Moved From Sea to Land 437 Million Years Ago," 16 Jan. 2020 Participants supply a drop of blood via pinprick; when combined with a buffer solution, a number of lines appear to indicate the presence of certain antibodies. Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times, "How far has the coronavirus spread? This quick blood test might provide some answers," 10 Apr. 2020 On Tuesday, a company called Bodysphere falsely claimed that an FDA Emergency Use Authorization was issued for an antibody test that could detect coronavirus in two minutes from a pinprick of blood. Arman Azad, CNN, "FDA authorizes first coronavirus antibody test," 2 Apr. 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, "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.

See More

First Known Use of pinprick


1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1871, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pinprick

Time Traveler for pinprick

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinprick was in 1755

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pinprick

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pinprick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pinprick


How to pronounce pinprick (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pinprick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pinprick

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!