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

But over time, if Disney, AT&T and Comcast pull all their stuff from Netflix, that becomes a problem for the streaming pioneer. Tali Arbel, The Know, "“Friends,” “The Office” being pulled from Netflix for separate streaming services," 9 July 2019 But over time, if Disney, AT&T and Comcast pull all their stuff from Netflix, that becomes a problem for the streaming pioneer. Tali Arbel, Twin Cities, "AT&T pulls ‘Friends’ from Netflix for its own streaming service," 9 July 2019 Later in life, Iacocca was also an unlikely pioneer of electric bikes and scooters. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "After saving Chrysler, Lee Iacocca became an unlikely champion of electric bikes and scooters," 3 July 2019 California has proudly led the world as an environmental pioneer and renewable energy champion. V. John White, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Don’t let climate change get in the way of California’s climate goals," 9 June 2019 Betty White is also an industry pioneer as the first woman to produce a national TV show, the first woman to star in a sitcom, the first producer to hire a female director, and the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "TV picks for Tuesday: a look at ‘Betty White: First Lady of Television’," 21 Aug. 2018 An affluent pioneer, Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) ventures deep into the American wilderness to reunite with and marry the love of his life, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska). Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Damsel' review: A sardonic Western courtship that lasts a lifetime," 28 June 2018 The three patients were treated by a team at the National Cancer Institute led by Steven Rosenberg, an immunotherapy pioneer who is chief of the surgery branch. Laurie Mcginley, ajc, "Researchers use immune-cell 'army' to battle another tough cancer," 4 June 2018 His father was an aviation pioneer and long time captain for Trans World Airlines. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 4/28," 28 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These transplants were pioneered by a Swedish doctor who did the first successful one five years ago. CBS News, "First baby born in U.S. from dead donor's transplanted womb," 10 July 2019 These types transplants were pioneered in Sweden, where the first successful procedure was performed five years ago. NBC News, "First baby in the U.S. born from transplanted womb of dead donor," 9 July 2019 This originated in the armed forces during the second world war and was pioneered in industry by Royal Dutch Shell, enabling it to react more quickly and effectively than rival oil firms to the oil shock of 1973. The Economist, "Why it's worth reading crazy-sounding scenarios about the future," 6 July 2019 Rae-Venter learned of a new set of techniques that were pioneered by a UC Santa Cruz researcher named Richard Green, which would extract autosomal DNA from rootless hair. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "How a podcast helped solve a grisly cold case," 9 June 2019 Blackmore's leaders have deep ties to the optical telecom industry, and the company aims to pack more and more components of its lidar sensors into photonic integrated circuits that have been pioneered in the optical telecom sector. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Two self-driving startups team up to build a different kind of lidar," 28 May 2019 And while the Warriors’ pioneered an idea of positionless basketball, the Chiefs are at the forefront of positionless football. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Kansas City Chiefs Are Football’s Golden State Warriors," 18 Jan. 2019 Nevada is set to pioneer a law to prevent job-seekers from being immediately rejected for work based on a positive marijuana test. Washington Post, "Nevada pioneers law to protect pot-using job-seekers," 13 June 2019 Epic is using the most popular game in the world to pioneer new interactive storytelling techniques. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite has the most interesting video game story in years," 2 July 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

17 Jul 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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