pioneer

noun
pi·​o·​neer | \ ˌpī-ə-ˈnir How to pronounce pioneer (audio) \

Definition of pioneer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a member of a military unit usually of construction engineers
2a : a person or group that originates or helps open up a new line of thought or activity or a new method or technical development
b : one of the first to settle in a territory
3 : a plant or animal capable of establishing itself in a bare, barren, or open area and initiating an ecological cycle

pioneer

verb
pioneered; pioneering; pioneers

Definition of pioneer (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to act as a pioneer pioneered in the development of airplanes

transitive verb

1 : to open or prepare for others to follow also : settle
2 : to originate or take part in the development of

pioneer

adjective

Definition of pioneer (Entry 3 of 3)

2 : relating to or being a pioneer especially : of, relating to, or characteristic of early settlers or their time

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Examples of pioneer in a Sentence

Noun

the pioneers who settled in the American West in the 19th century the hardships that the pioneers endured while taming the wilderness

Verb

a painter who pioneered a new art form The new method of cancer treatment was pioneered by an international team of researchers. He helped pioneer a new route to the West. He pioneered in the development of airplanes.

Adjective

the nation's pioneer institution for the education of African-Americans
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The markets have had a big influence on the local dining scene, from California cuisine pioneer Michael’s (reinvigorated under chef Miles Thompson) to Rustic Canyon (the pozole verde with mussels is a classic). Matt Jaffe, SFChronicle.com, "Green travel in (gasp!) Los Angeles is easier than you think," 19 June 2018 He was accompanied by his friend and mentor Steffie Mizrahi, a pioneer of Paris’s fledging ballroom scene. Vogue, "Inside Paris’s Burgeoning Ball Scene," 19 Apr. 2019 Russia Cyclocopter Redux The Advanced Research Foundation is proud to be following in the footsteps of Sverchkov, a Russian pioneer—but they are motivated by more than patriotism. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "After More Than a Century, the Cyclocopter Is Making a Comeback," 5 Apr. 2019 Tash has become a pioneer in the jewelry and piercing industry, and has changed the piercing game by modernizing and elevating piercing jewelry with a variety of precious metals, stones, and finer gauges, and more importantly, self-expression. Teen Vogue, "Celebrity Piercer and Jewelry Designer Maria Tash Is Opening A Pop-Up in LA," 27 Mar. 2019 Founded in 2002, Sonos has been a pioneer in high-end wireless speakers, building a loyal customer base that drove sales to more than $1 billion in the 2018 fiscal year ended Sept. 30. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Sonos Shares Slide Following News of CFO’s Departure," 6 Feb. 2019 Roberts, 51, has long been a beauty pioneer as well: That megawatt smile; those effortless curls; and, of course, her all-natural philosophy on body hair that has been turning heads since the ‘90s. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Julia Roberts Just Proved Why 50 Is the New 30," 3 Dec. 2018 Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65," 15 Oct. 2018 Just as Lazier brought lacrosse to Evanston, McGonagle was a soccer pioneer — almost by accident. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Murney Lazier, Ken McGonagle remembered as pioneers of Evanston athletics," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the early 2000s Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Marcello Massimini, now at the University of Milan in Italy, pioneered a technique, called zap and zip, to probe whether someone is conscious or not. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018 Since there weren't a huge number of women who had come before her to look up to in STEM, Dr. Uhlenbeck maid attention to women who'd pioneered other fields for inspiration. Glamour, "Meet Karen Uhlenbeck, The First Woman to Ever Win the ‘Nobel Prize of Math’," 22 Mar. 2019 Courtesy In recent years, fashion brands have placed increasingly emphasis on sustainability—from Stella McCartney, who pioneered the movement, to contemporary eco-friendly brands like Everlane and Amur. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Madewell's New Swimsuit Line Is Both Sustainable and Affordable," 27 Feb. 2019 More than a decade after Twin Peaks pioneered the model, Nolan showed there was an audience for a labyrinthine style of storytelling that prioritized ingenious structure and puzzle solving over character development and, often, logic. Mary Kaye Schilling, Newsweek, "'Westworld' to 'Altered Carbon': Four Dark, Complicated Shows To Binge Now," 4 Mar. 2018 At a time when Michelle Obama is pioneering the childhood obesity initiative, attempting to make school a healthier experience, this little tidbit of evidence of the positive long-term effect of athletic participation on women is priceless. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "Do Sports Have a Long-Term Effect on a Woman's Life?," 17 Feb. 2010 This astronomer’s pioneering research proposed that 90 percent of the universe’s mass has never been seen. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "32 Women Who’ve Changed Life As We Know It," 31 Mar. 2019 Back in 1988, the Queen Mother's secretary rang up Fulton, searching for the clear domed umbrella that the brand had pioneered. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Umbrellas Are Custom Made to Match Her Outfits," 23 Mar. 2019 Content drawn on physical whiteboards can be captured and brought into the virtual space, using the Office Lens technology Microsoft pioneered for the phone. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft Teams taps AI to boost new background, whiteboarding features," 19 Mar. 2019

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

Noun

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1780, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pioneer

Noun

Middle French pionier, from Old French peonier foot soldier, from peon foot soldier, from Medieval Latin pedon-, pedo — more at pawn

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Statistics for pioneer

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pioneer

The first known use of pioneer was in 1523

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More Definitions for pioneer

pioneer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pioneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who helps create or develop new ideas, methods, etc.
: someone who is one of the first people to move to and live in a new area

pioneer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pioneer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to help create or develop (new ideas, methods, etc.) : to be a pioneer in the development of (something)

pioneer

noun
pi·​o·​neer | \ ˌpī-ə-ˈnir How to pronounce pioneer (audio) \

Kids Definition of pioneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who is one of the first to settle in an area
2 : a person who begins or helps develop something new and prepares the way for others to follow They were pioneers in the field of medicine.

pioneer

verb
pioneered; pioneering

Kids Definition of pioneer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to explore or open up ways or regions for others to follow
2 : to begin something new or take part in the early development of something They pioneered new scientific techniques.

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Comments on pioneer

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