pin: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pin), [key]
— n., v., pinned, pin•ning.
  1. a small, slender, often pointed piece of wood, metal, etc., used to fasten, support, or attach things.
  2. a short, slender piece of wire with a point at one end and a head at the other, for fastening things together.
  3. any of various forms of fasteners or ornaments consisting essentially or partly of a pointed or penetrating wire or shaft (often used in combination): a jeweled pin.
  4. a badge having a pointed bar or pin attached, by which it is fastened to the clothing: a fraternity pin.
    1. a short metal rod, as a linchpin, driven through holes in adjacent parts, as a hub and an axle, to keep the parts together.
    2. a short cylindrical rod or tube, as a wrist pin or crankpin, joining two parts so as to permit them to move in one plane relative to each other.
    3. a short axle, as one on which a pulley rotates in a block.
  5. the part of a cylindrical key stem entering a lock.
  6. a clothespin.
  7. a hairpin.
  8. See
  9. a peg, nail, or stud marking the center of a target.
  10. any one of the rounded wooden clubs set up as the target in tenpins, ninepins, duckpins, etc.
  11. the flag staff which identifies a hole.
  12. any of the projecting knobs or rails on a pinball machine that serve as targets for the ball.
  13. a human leg.
  14. peg (def. 5).
  15. a fall.
    1. an axle for a sheave of a block.
    2. Seebelaying pin.
  16. a tenon in a dovetail joint; dovetail.
  17. a very small amount; a trifle: Such insincere advice isn't worth a pin.
  18. the immobilization of an enemy piece by attacking with one's queen, rook, or bishop.
  19. a pin-shaped connection, as the terminals on the base of an electron tube or the connections on an integrated circuit.
  20. to end a relationship, project, program, or the like, because of lack of continuing interest, success, funds, etc.
  1. to fasten or attach with or as with a pin or pins: to pin two pieces of cloth together.
  2. to hold fast in a spot or position (sometimes fol. by down): The debris pinned him down.
  3. to transfix or mount with a pin or the like: to pin a flower as a botanical specimen.
  4. to immobilize (an enemy piece) by placing one's queen, rook, or bishop in a position to check the exposed king or capture a valuable piece if the pinned piece were moved.
  5. to secure a fall over one's opponent.
    1. (of a young woman) to receive a male student's fraternity pin as a symbol of his affection and fidelity, usually symbolizing that the couple is going steady or plans to become engaged.
    2. (of a young couple) to become formally pledged to one another, though not yet engaged, by the bestowing of such a pin or the exchange of pins.
  6. We tried to pin him down for a definite answer, but he was too evasive for us.
    1. to bind or hold to a course of action, a promise, etc.
    2. to force (someone) to deal with a situation or to come to a decision:We tried to pin him down for a definite answer, but he was too evasive for us.
  7. to fill (gaps in a rubble wall, etc.) with spalls.
  8. to ascribe the blame or guilt for something to a person; show someone to be culpable: They pinned the crime on him.
  9. to make (a piece of masonry) level or plumb with wedges.


Pronunciation: (pin), [key]
— n. Computers.
  1. a number assigned to an individual, used to establish identity in order to gain access to a computer system via an automatic teller machine, a point-of-sale terminal, or other device.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also:
  • pin (Thesaurus)