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

Kroger’s plan to commercialize its futuristic shopping experience could provide a lift to Microsoft’s Azure cloud business, which is critical to Nadella’s ongoing efforts to reinvent the software pioneer. Dina Bass, The Seattle Times, "Kroger, Microsoft test futuristic grocery store in Redmond. Amazon, take note.," 7 Jan. 2019 The decision to undercut index pioneer Vanguard Group on cost may have once seemed unfathomable inside Fidelity’s Boston headquarters. WSJ, "The Money Managers to Watch in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 Reality Labs is run by Michael Abrash, an early video game pioneer and technologist who came to Facebook by way of Oculus and holds the title of chief scientist. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Facebook fractures its secretive hardware division," 14 Dec. 2018 The MarCO sats become pioneers days after ejecting from the rocket. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Scientists like Leroy Hood, a biotech pioneer who was at the forefront of technologies behind the Human Genome Project and big data analytics, thinks this is at the leading edge of 21st-century medicine. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 If all goes according to plan, these bantam pioneers will get up-close looks at Proxima b, the possibly habitable planet that circles the sun's nearest star, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Interstellar Travel Requires a Long-Term Approach (and Humans Are Too Impatient)," 10 Aug. 2018 Sarah Barthel’s powerful bass grooves and Josh Carter’s deep, monotone singing voice were both reminiscent of electronica pioneers New Order. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 The Savoy restaurant reopens July 3 with many fan favorites — the dark-paneled walls and crown molding, stained glass, carved oak bar, 1903 murals of pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail and booth No. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "Iconic Savoy restaurant aims for 'throwback' feel with fun, like blue cotton candy," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Apple will never be content with being second best, and the latest iPhone camera system — undeniably Apple’s best to date — bears a striking resemblance to the computational photography approach pioneered by Google. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sales are a measure of sales, not importance," 16 Oct. 2018 Uber is using this trial to showcase its recent commitment to sustainable mobility and car-free transit, and catch up with the micromobility revolution pioneered by companies such as Bird. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Uber launches electric scooter service," 3 Oct. 2018 Jupiter is a newcomer to the scene pioneered by South Florida startup Coastal Risk Consulting in 2016. Alex Harris, miamiherald, "Is your land at risk for sea rise? More firms want to sell South Florida the answer | Miami Herald," 21 Mar. 2018 In addition to citing Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono and pioneering synth group Art of Noise as inspirations, Zeta’s sound was also shaped by her obsession with postmodern furniture. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "The Argentinian Artist Whose Colorful Closet and Music Are Inspired by Postmodern Furniture," 24 Dec. 2018 Gilead paid about $11 billion last year to buy one of the CAR-T technology’s pioneering companies and its lead drug Yescarta. Joseph Walker, WSJ, "Roche Executive Daniel O’Day Is Named Gilead CEO," 10 Dec. 2018 SpaceX has been pioneering reusable rockets for years, NASA is contemplating selling its soul to the highest bidder, and a Russian startup is building a nuclear engine for future rockets. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Space Startup Apollo Fusion Wants To Use Mercury as a Fuel—Report," 20 Nov. 2018 Shortly after, Purple Moon, a game company that helped pioneer the genre, launched Rockett’s New School, a computer game that followed a junior high schooler navigating her way through friendships, classes, and general teen-girl drama. Marie Claire, "She's Got Game," 5 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, two of the people who helped pioneer development of CRISPR technology have also come out against He's work. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Reports out of China suggest first human gene-edited babies have been born," 26 Nov. 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

16 Jan 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 \

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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