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

  • n. A bowling game in which nine wooden pins are the target.
  • n. A wooden pin used in the game of ninepins.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The wooden pin used in the game of ninepins; a skittle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a bowling pin of the type used in ninepins (or (in England) skittles).

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

  • n. a bowling pin of the type used in playing ninepins or (in England) skittles


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Now, this amiable duo of 19-year-olds, completed by Harley "Kicks" Alexander-Sule, are eyeing an ascent of the pop charts themselves, thanks in part to another ninepin effect – success by association.

    Rizzle Kicks; Alex Clare – review

  • Mr Sparkler, as to tip that gentleman over like a larger species of ninepin, and cause him to exhibit the soles of his shoes to the object of his dearest wishes: while the nobler portions of his anatomy struggled at the bottom of his boat in the arms of one of his men.

    Little Dorrit

  • The old gentleman is merely shaken and has his internal feathers beaten up, the cushion is restored to its usual place beside him, and the old lady, perhaps with her cap adjusted and perhaps not, is planted in her chair again, ready to be bowled down like a ninepin.

    Bleak House

  • As I did so, the Thing rose straight at me in a leap, and I was knocked over like a ninepin.

    The Island of Doctor Moreau

  • That a dozen soft words should have bowled me over like a ninepin, and left me without an inch of ground to call my own.

    Framley Parsonage

  • That he was called upon to serve his country, by good service, if such were within his power, he did acknowledge freely; but not that he should allow himself to be stuck up as a ninepin only to be knocked down!

    The Duke's Children

  • Certain of the men have huge dilly-bags made of strips of lawyer-cane, and shaped like a ninepin with a funnel for a head.

    Tropic Days

  • Maurice Mair seemed to spin like a teetotum and pitch upon his face like a ninepin.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • George got off one shot before Eddie's bullet drove him back into the screaming man, bowling him over like a ninepin, but it went wild.

    The Drawing of the Three

  • The disaster spread from its source, each hapless human ninepin more likely than not to knock down others so that they fell over the danger-laden boundary, and in turn ricocheted to a dearly bought equilibrium.

    The Past Through Tomorrow


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