Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A thin cylindrical strip of metal or other material bent in the shape of a long U, used to secure a hairdo or headdress.
  • n. Something shaped like a hairpin, especially a sharp turn in a road.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characterized by an abrupt or extreme bend; shaped like a hairpin.
  • n. A pin or fastener for the hair.
  • n. A kind of ribozyme; Hairpin ribozyme.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pin, usually forked, or of bent wire, for fastening the hair in place, -- used by women.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pin used to support braids or plaits of hair, or to maintain the head-dress, of whatever description, in its proper place.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a double pronged pin used to hold women's hair in place

Etymologies

A compound of hair + pin. The adjective form recalls the tight bend characteristic of a hairpin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The volatility seen in the past two trading days recalls the hairpin turns seen during the worst days of the credit crisis in September.

    Dow Industrials Drop 445 Points

  • Rally newcomer and Twickenham resident Young commented, "Tony did really well, especially on the second stage when I called a hairpin right when it was actually a hairpin left.

    Your Local Guardian | Wimbledon

  • "It's stating the obvious to say that we need action," said engineer Peter Broadley, caught in the two-hour peak-time crawl along a 14-mile hairpin, which is the quickest north-south car link.

    The Guardian World News

  • Has the "hairpin" equipment been upgraded or is this the same gear they used to find all the WMD and SCUDS overseas?

    Our Supreme Moment

  • "I found a new kind of hairpin when I was shopping the other day."

    The Motor Girls on Waters Blue Or the Strange Cruise of the Tartar

  • Huggie once arrived at the house of the "hairpin" bend simultaneously with a shell.

    Adventures of a Despatch Rider

  • Even experienced travelers found the lunges of the train trying to their nerves as it shot at speed around "hairpin" bends, or hurled itself to the fall of

    Heart of the Blue Ridge

  • One of these creatures I’ll call the hairpin bend, for reasons that will become apparent.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • There is hearsay evidence that Peg added to this speech a wish and desire to "bust the crust" of her traducers, and, remarking that "that was the kind of hairpin" she was, closed the conversation with an unfortunate accident to the plate, that left a severe contusion on the legal brow of her companion.

    The Twins of Table Mountain

  • That straight begins with the last corner of the famous track referred by most as the "hairpin".

    Automotive Headlines

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  • Merriam-Webster definition
    Definition of HAIRPIN
    1
    : a pin to hold the hair in place; specifically : a long U-shaped pin
    2
    : something shaped like a hairpin; specifically : a sharp U-shaped turn in a road

    March 10, 2011