Definitions

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

  • noun Games A chess piece of lowest value that may move forward one square at a time or two squares in the first move, capture other pieces only on a one-space diagonal forward move, and be promoted to any piece other than a king upon reaching the eighth rank.
  • noun A person or an entity used to further the purposes of another.
  • noun Something given as security for a loan; a pledge or guaranty.
  • noun The condition of being held as a pledge against the payment of a loan.
  • noun A person serving as security; a hostage.
  • noun The act of pawning.
  • transitive verb To give or deposit (personal property) as security for the payment of money borrowed.
  • transitive verb To risk; hazard.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put up as collateral: hypothecate, as stock for a loan.
  • noun Something given or deposited as security, as for money borrowed; security; pledge.
  • noun A pledge or promise.
  • noun A gage; a challenge.
  • noun The condition of being pledged or held as security, as for the payment of a debt or the fulfilment of a promise, etc.: as, to be in pawn or at pawn.
  • noun A pawnshop; a pawnbroker's establishment.
  • noun At pawn, in pawn, pledged; hence, laid away; not available.
  • noun Mast, or similar food for animals. Also spelled pawne.
  • noun A gallery.
  • To give or deposit in pledge, or as security for the payment of money borrowed; pledge.
  • To pledge for the fulfilment of a promise.
  • noun A peacock; in heraldry, a peacock used as a bearing.
  • noun A piece of the lowest rank and value at chess. See chess.
  • noun Marked pawn. See marked.
  • noun Same as pan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun See pan, the masticatory.
  • transitive verb To give or deposit in pledge, or as security for the payment of money borrowed; to put in pawn; to pledge.
  • transitive verb To pledge for the fulfillment of a promise; to stake; to risk; to wager; to hazard.
  • noun (Chess) A man or piece of the lowest rank.
  • noun Anything delivered or deposited as security, as for the payment of money borrowed, or of a debt; a pledge. See pledge, n., 1.
  • noun rare State of being pledged; a pledge for the fulfillment of a promise.
  • noun Poetic A stake hazarded in a wager.
  • noun in the state of being pledged.
  • noun a shop where a pawnbroker does business.
  • noun a receipt given by the pawnbroker for an article pledged.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state of being held as security for a loan, or as a pledge.
  • noun An instance of pawning something.
  • noun An item given as security on a loan, or as a pledge.
  • noun rare A pawn shop, pawnbroker.
  • verb To pledge; to stake or wager.
  • verb To give as security on a loan of money; especially, to deposit (something) at a pawn shop.
  • noun chess The most common chess piece, or a similar piece in a similar game. In chess each side has eight; moves are only forward, attacks are only forward diagonally or en passant.
  • noun colloquial Someone who is being manipulated or used to some end, usually not the end that individual would prefer.
  • verb video games To render one's opponent a mere pawn, especially in a real-time strategy games.

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

  • noun an article deposited as security
  • noun a person used by another to gain an end
  • noun (chess) the least powerful piece; moves only forward and captures only to the side; it can be promoted to a more powerful piece if it reaches the 8th rank
  • verb leave as a guarantee in return for money
  • noun borrowing and leaving an article as security for repayment of the loan

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French pedon, paon, from Medieval Latin pedō, pedōn-, foot soldier, from Late Latin, one who has broad, splayed feet, from Latin pēs, ped-, foot; see ped- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English paun, from Old French pan, perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German pfant.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French pan ("pledge, security"), apparently from a Germanic language (compare Middle Dutch pant, Old High German pfant).

Examples

  • These commercials have women with shopping bags talking about sales that couldn't be missed, young couples waving fistsfull of cash while driving off in a car from the title pawn saying "We even got to keep our car".

    Time To Budget

  • Reports said a customer discovered Moody's body inside Motors & Cash, a title pawn and car sales business on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • Reports said a customer discovered Moody's body inside Motors & Cash, a title pawn and car sales business on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • Reports said a customer discovered Moody's body inside Motors & Cash, a title pawn and car sales business on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • Ricky Allen Moody, 58, was murdered Oct. 23 at his Claysville business, Motors & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

  • & Cash, a title pawn and car sales shop on U.S. 431 near Claysville Junior High School.

    Sand Mountain Reporter: News

Comments

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  • The chess piece comes from the Anglo-Norman for "walker". This is because pawns are the foot soldiers of chess.

    February 21, 2007

  • Also (hist.), a gallery, colonnade, or covered walk; esp. one in a bazaar, market, exchange, etc., within which traders display their goods for sale.

    August 6, 2008