1

pioneer

play
noun pi·o·neer \ˌpī-ə-ˈnir\

Definition of pioneer

  1. 1 :  a member of a military unit usually of construction engineers

  2. 2a :  a person or group that originates or helps open up a new line of thought or activity or a new method or technical developmentb :  one of the first to settle in a territory

  3. 3 :  a plant or animal capable of establishing itself in a bare, barren, or open area and initiating an ecological cycle

Examples of pioneer in a Sentence

  1. the pioneers who settled in the American West in the 19th century

  2. the hardships that the pioneers endured while taming the wilderness

Recent Examples of pioneer from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pioneer

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


2

pioneer

verb pi·o·neer

Definition of pioneer

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to act as a pioneer pioneered in the development of airplanes

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to open or prepare for others to follow; also :  settle

  5. 2 :  to originate or take part in the development of

Examples of pioneer in a Sentence

  1. a painter who pioneered a new art form

  2. The new method of cancer treatment was pioneered by an international team of researchers.

  3. He helped pioneer a new route to the West.

  4. He pioneered in the development of airplanes.

Recent Examples of pioneer from the Web

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.

First Known Use of pioneer

1780


3

pioneer

adjective pi·o·neer

Definition of pioneer

  1. 1 :  original, earliest

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

Examples of pioneer in a Sentence

  1. the nation's pioneer institution for the education of African-Americans

First Known Use of pioneer

1836


PIONEER Defined for English Language Learners

pioneer

play
noun

Definition of pioneer for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of pioneer for English Language Learners

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


PIONEER Defined for Kids

1

pioneer

play
noun pi·o·neer \ˌpī-ə-ˈnir\

Definition of pioneer for Students

  1. 1 :  a person who is one of the first to settle in an area

  2. 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.

History for pioneer

The source of our word pioneer is ultimately Old French peonier or pionier, a derivative of peon, “foot soldier.” The word peonier also originally meant “foot soldier,” but later appeared in the sense “digger” or “excavator,” and by the 1300s referred to a soldier who went ahead of the main army and prepared forts for the men who would follow. The word was borrowed by English in the 1500s, and may still apply to troops who build roads and bridges (though engineer is the usual term in the United States Army). The word is usually used in the figurative sense of “someone who prepares the way for others.”


2

pioneer

play
verb pi·o·neer

Definition of pioneer for Students

pioneered

;

pioneering

  1. 1 :  to explore or open up ways or regions for others to follow

  2. 2 :  to begin something new or take part in the early development of something They pioneered new scientific techniques.



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