from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A short, straight, stiff piece of wire with a blunt head and a sharp point, used especially for fastening.
  • noun Something, such as a safety pin, that resembles such a piece of wire in shape or use.
  • noun A whit; a jot.
  • noun A slender, usually cylindrical piece of wood or metal for holding or fastening parts together, or serving as a support for suspending one thing from another, as.
  • noun A thin rod for securing the ends of fractured bones.
  • noun A peg for fixing the crown to the root of a tooth.
  • noun A cotter pin.
  • noun The part of a key stem entering a lock.
  • noun Music One of the pegs securing the strings and regulating their tension on a stringed instrument.
  • noun Nautical A belaying pin.
  • noun Nautical A thole pin.
  • noun An ornament fastened to clothing by means of a clasp.
  • noun A rolling pin.
  • noun One of the wooden clubs at which the ball is aimed in bowling.
  • noun A flagstick.
  • noun Informal The legs.
  • noun Electronics A lead on a device that plugs into a socket to connect the device to a system.
  • noun Any of the pegs on the platen of a printer, which engage holes at the edges of paper.
  • noun Any of the styluses that form a dot matrix on a printer.
  • noun Any of the small metal prongs at the end of a connector that fit into the holes in a port.
  • transitive verb To fasten or secure with or as if with a pin or pins.
  • transitive verb To transfix.
  • transitive verb To place in a position of trusting dependence.
  • transitive verb To hold fast; immobilize.
  • transitive verb Sports To win a fall from in wrestling.
  • transitive verb To give (a woman) a fraternity pin in token of attachment.
  • adjective Having a grain suggestive of the heads of pins. Used of leather.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To inclose; confine; pen or pound.
  • To aim at or strike with a stone.
  • noun A spot or web on the eye: usually in the phrase pin and (or) web.
  • To fasten or secure with a bolt or peg.
  • To fasten with a pin or pins.
  • To transfix with or as with a pin; hence, to seize and hold fast in the same spot or position.
  • To nab; seize; steal.
  • To swage by striking with the peen of a hammer, as in splaying an edge of an iron hoop to give it a flare corresponding to that of the cask.
  • To clog the teeth of: as, to pin a file: said of particles which adhere so firmly to the teeth of a file that they have to be picked out with a piece of steel wire.
  • noun In archery, a place in a bowstaff where a lateral twig has been trimmed off. Such places are weak if the twig is out off flush.
  • noun In ccram., a small three-sided rod of fire-clay inserted in the side of the saggar to support the ware (as a plate) while it is fired in the kiln.
  • noun A tapered wooden pin having a split in the small end, in which a wedge is inserted to keep the pin from falling out.
  • In chess, to attack (a piece) in such a fashion that it cannot be moved without leaving the king or queen in check.
  • noun A wooden or metal peg or bolt used to fasten or hold a thing in place, fasten things together, or as a point of attachment or support.
  • noun A peg or bolt serving to keep a wheel on its axle; a linch pin.


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

[Middle English, from Old English pinn, perhaps from Latin pinna, feather; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pinne, from Old English pinn ("pin, peg, bolt"), from Proto-Germanic *pinnaz, *pinnō, *pint- (“protruding point, peak, peg, pin, nail”), from Proto-Indo-European *bend- (“protruding object, pointed peg, nail, edge”). Cognate with Dutch pin ("peg, pin"), Low German pin, pinne ("pin, point, nail, peg"), German Pinn, Pinne ("pin, tack, peg"), Bavarian Pfonzer, Pfunzer ("sharpened point"), Danish pind ("pin, pointed stick"), Norwegian pinn ("knitting-needle"), Swedish pinne ("peg, rod, stick"), Icelandic pinni ("pin"). More at pintle.


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  • Personal Identification Number

    February 28, 2007

  • Nip in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • sseltiw yleugav & suoivbo

    November 3, 2007

  • (: ...ylkciuq stsil eht pu uoy sevom ti tuB

    November 3, 2007

  • aha! ( = !aha in reverse)

    November 3, 2007

  • Channois: sionnach in reverse! Sounds distinctly French.

    November 3, 2007

  • If you squint, I could be a chamois. Instead of a fox.

    Of course, this has to regard the 'ch' as a single letter. Which it is, kind of, since 'h' is not a real letter in Gaelic, just there for lenition purposes.

    November 3, 2007

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    to present (a young woman) with a fraternity pin as a pledge of affection

    Also "going steady"

    February 3, 2008

  • Eating and drinking went together: so that they soon got into a merry pin, and made a roaring noise.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 1 ch. 5

    September 12, 2008

  • A Plastic Nightmare.

    December 11, 2008