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

Unlike other planetary bodies, the moon appears as more than just a pinprick of light in the sky, inviting us to imagine it as another world. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Apollo 11 at 50: How the moon landing changed the world," 16 July 2019 The performances wake up whenever the characters jab one other with even a pinprick of sarcasm. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "‘Falsettos’ revival brings back an era of liberation and fear," 13 June 2019 As long as the flow of oil from the Middle East is essentially unaffected by pinprick attacks and Iran refrains from an all-out nuclear effort, there is a strong argument for military restraint in Washington. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Case for Restraint in the Gulf," 17 June 2019 In other words, where a perverse pinprick would otherwise form in the space-time fabric, naked for all the world to see, the relative weakness of gravity prevents it. Quanta Magazine, "Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten," 20 June 2017 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

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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Statistics for pinprick

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on pinprick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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