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

  • n. A metal spike fitted at one end with an eye for securing a rope and driven into rock or ice as a support in mountain climbing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a spike, wedge, or peg that is driven into a rock or ice surface as a support (as for a mountain climber)
  • v. to put pitons into a rock/ice to facilitate climbing

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A metal spike having a sharpened point on one end, and a hole through which a rope can be passed on the other; it is driven into the face of a rock cliff during climbing, and used as an anchor point for a rope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A point; a peak.

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

  • n. a metal spike with a hole for a rope; mountaineers drive it into ice or rock to use as a hold


French, from Old French, nail.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French piton ("nail") (Wiktionary)


  • Trailing behind the piton was a microthin line of duranium cable.

    A Time to Kill

  • Grias neuberthii, known as the piton tree, is a large tree native to the western Amazonian rainforest (Ecuador, Columbia and Peru).

    Museum Blogs

  • Soon after the school opened, I signed up and learned how to belay and rappel, and about the play of rock climbing on the senses: the clink of the hammer on a piton, the warmth of the sunlit granite under my hand, the radiant clouds sailing overhead.

    Yosemite's Rock Stars

  • Créez votre badge welcome beggining on blog, feel free to give comments about me lilasvb piton saint leu, reunion, Reunion je suis chorégraphe, auteure, dessinatrice amateure, en transition d'une ile à l'autre, j'expérimente l'asthanga yoga comme base matinale pour passer de meilleures journées....

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  • Rock-climbing legend has it that celebrated conservationist David Brower installed the first permanent piton in North America.

    Federal Rock: A Hard Place

  • I use my ice ax to hammer in a piton now and again but much of this is done by other leaders before me.

    And then the Psychology Student asked me: "What is your life construct?"

  • Pepper let go, stopped his fall by grabbing another piton, then dropped into the aft of the boat in one smooth, quick motion.

    Crystal Rain

  • He moved over and grabbed a rusty piton hammered into the side of a great pillar, one of many that allowed the scavengers below him to string nets to strain the harbor water.

    Crystal Rain

  • Each finger is a piton, and programmed to seek out crevices on the rock-face you are climbing.

    The Year's Best Science Fiction 23rd Annual Collection

  • The flattened dome is from fifty to sixty feet high, and the piton one hundred and forty.

    The Land of Midian

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