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

For them, Mugabe’s victory marked the end of nine decades of privilege and dominion, dating back to the arrival of Cecil Rhodes and the British pioneers in the 1890s. Lily Rothman, Time, "Robert Mugabe Ruled Zimbabwe for Decades. Here's How He First Came to Power," 6 Sep. 2019 There are a lot of comparisons to the Cleveland Browns, who sat in tank limbo for years, and the Philadelphia 76ers, the pioneers in serial tanking. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: The Dolphins are tanking, and it’s beautiful given the next two QB drafts | Commentary," 2 Sep. 2019 Sharing the computing wealth The computer science department shared the top floor with acoustic and behavioral research, a much larger department headed up by Max Mathews, a pioneer in electronic music, voice synthesis, and voice recognition. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure," 29 Aug. 2019 Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. Michael Liedtke, chicagotribune.com, "Former Google engineer charged with stealing self-driving secrets," 27 Aug. 2019 Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. Michael Liedtke, USA TODAY, "Former Google employee charged for stealing secrets, selling them to Uber," 27 Aug. 2019 Mr Terry and the market pioneers in Ventura County are trying to avoid this. The Economist, "Caps on groundwater use create a new market in California," 17 Aug. 2019 Some of the initial research in the field took place in San Antonio, said Dr. Stephen Badylak, a pioneer in the field. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio company at the forefront of stem-cell therapy," 15 Aug. 2019 The combined company would still be small compared with behemoths like Disney, with a vast library of movies and shows, and Netflix, the pioneer in streaming technology. Fortune, "CBS and Viacom Are Merging," 13 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These are all kind of forms of things that were originally pioneered on blogging. Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Exclusive: Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr," 14 Aug. 2019 The pioneering disco group — whose lead singer, Victor Willis, is a San Diego resident — has had at least 23 lineup changes since its inception in 1977. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Village People and Kool & The Gang set for Sycuan Casino double-header," 25 Aug. 2019 In fact, Rock Hall Honors feels rather meek compared to Music Masters, which honored pioneering musician with a series of lectures, exhibits, educational programs and other special events. cleveland.com, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s new ‘Rock Hall Honors’ series is already a huge letdown," 16 Aug. 2019 Jurassic Park’ Hapless humans flee fearsome dinosaurs in this CGI-pioneering thriller from 1993, when Spielberg movies could still be fun. Sadie Dingfelder, Washington Post, "This is why the ‘90s won’t die," 15 Aug. 2019 Templeton was a legendary, pioneering global investor – a great, gentle human and a font of wisdom. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "10 bits of investment wisdom that can help your 401(k) flourish," 11 Aug. 2019 Widespread street protests had just forced the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, who had been accused of graft by a pioneering anti-corruption body. Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, "Guatemala, simmering with discontent, shows little enthusiasm for the presidential election," 9 Aug. 2019 Wåhlin, an oceanographer at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, was one of the roughly two dozen scientists on a pioneering scientific expedition to Thwaites Glacier this past winter. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "A Submarine Goes Under a Failing Glacier to Gauge Rising Seas," 6 Aug. 2019 There was a little piece about pioneering women in cinema. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Who is Alice Guy-Blaché? The greatest director you've never heard of, documentary reveals," 26 July 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

11 Sep 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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