pioneer

noun
pi·o·neer | \ˌpī-ə-ˈnir \

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 panoramic works were created by Austrian artist Heinrich Berann, a pioneer of mountainscape painting. Betsy Mason, National Geographic, "Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online," 28 June 2018 His father, Philip Sammeth, was a merchandising pioneer with Walt Disney Productions. Deborah Wilker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Billy Sammeth, Longtime Manager of Cher and Joan Rivers, Dies at 66," 18 June 2018 Toyota was a pioneer in the hybrid realm with its groundbreaking Prius. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 LeBron was a pioneer in giving more athletes more control of their future James’s career ushered in a new norm of player sovereignty in professional basketball. Dylan Scott, Vox, "LeBron James and the NBA teach us a lot about labor in America," 6 July 2018 Zenith was a pioneer in television manufacturing, introducing its first line of black-and-white TV sets in 1948 and the first color sets in 1961, according to the company’s website. Ally Marotti, chicagotribune.com, "Foxconn founder says his first order came from Chicago-area's Zenith, maker of TVs and boomboxes," 28 June 2018 In his professional career, Mr. Gordon was a pioneer in personal-injury law and founded his own firm with Temple Law classmates shortly after graduation. Max Cohen, Philly.com, "Allan H. Gordon, 77, former chancellor of Philadelphia Bar Association," 22 June 2018 The Bunkhouse Group, led by Liz Lambert, who runs the Austin Motel and a number of other properties, has been a pioneer in this movement, and is now partially owned by the Standard Group. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Motel revivalism: How hipster hoteliers created a new roadside attraction," 22 June 2018 Born in 1970, Mr. Hubbard was a pioneer in bringing the modern-day skate park into the mainstream. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Legendary skate-park designer Roger Mark ‘Monk’ Hubbard of Seattle dead at 47," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Safety cage Rover racing cars in the 1950s pioneered the safety cage or roll cage that was the precursor to energy-absorbing vehicle structures that allow people to walk away from violent, high-speed crashes today, Goddard said. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Racing innovations made cars safer: Rearview mirrors, laser headlights," 23 May 2018 Duba Plains Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta has pioneered both groundbreaking animal-conservation efforts and a model for community development. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "Editor’s Letter: Keeping It Real in the World’s Most Touristed Destinations," 1 May 2018 Counting the repetition of words in official documents is a practice pioneered by 20th century Kremlinologists, who during the Cold War were tasked with divining political trends in Communist regimes from afar. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Xi Jinping’s the Man in Beijing’s Policy Report," 5 Mar. 2018 If every state adopted the best practices pioneered by some jurisdictions, U.S. public schools could make faster progress toward developing helpful, not harmful, accountability systems. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Are states really trying to overcome the harmful legacy of No Child Left Behind?," 12 Feb. 2018 Saxophonist Kamasi Washington helped pioneer an L.A. scene that freely melds free jazz with hip-hop and Afro-centric spirituality. Los Angeles Times Staff, latimes.com, "Political music in the age of Trump — in Los Angeles and beyond," 29 June 2018 His next step, a plan for acquiring more wind and solar, follows in the footsteps of a strategy pioneered by technology giants like Apple Inc., Google and Amazon.com Inc. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "Cities Look to “Virtual Power” to Reach Climate Goals," 15 June 2018 For its Formula 1 race team, Honda had helped pioneer computer programming for vehicle engines. star-telegram, "Gasoline: Pump Us Up?," 28 Apr. 2018 The club owns the NWSL’s Houston Dash and helped pioneer the hybrid USL affiliate underpinning its partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Toros. Grant Wahl And Brian Straus, SI.com, "2018 MLS Ambition Rankings: Which Clubs Raise the Bar Highest as the League Grows?," 23 Apr. 2018

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

9 Oct 2018

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 \

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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