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Meaning of pigeonhole

pi•geon•hole

Pronunciation: (pij'un-hōl"), [key]
— n., v., -holed, -hol•ing.
—n.
  1. one of a series of small, open compartments, as in a desk, cabinet, or the like, used for filing or sorting papers, letters, etc.
  2. a hole or recess, or one of a series of recesses, for pigeons to nest in.
  3. Also calledwhite space created by setting words or lines too far apart.
—v.t.
  1. to assign to a definite place or to definite places in some orderly system: to pigeonhole new ideas.
  2. to lay aside for use or reference at some later, indefinite time: We must pigeonhole this excellent plan until the time is ripe.
  3. to put aside for the present, esp. with the intention of ignoring or forgetting, often indefinitely: to pigeonhole an unwanted invitation.
  4. to place in or as if in a pigeonhole or pigeonholes: to pigeonhole papers.
  5. to fit or provide with pigeonholes: The desk must be pigeonholed for all my papers.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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