Meaning of pioneer

pi•o•neer

Pronunciation: (pī"u-nēr'), [key]
— n.
  1. a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.
  2. one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress: pioneers in cancer research.
  3. one of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads, dig intrenchments, etc., in advance of the main body.
  4. an organism that successfully establishes itself in a barren area, thus starting an ecological cycle of life.
  5. (cap.)one of a series of U.S. space probes that explored the solar system and transmitted scientific information to earth.
  6. (cap.) (formerly) a member of a Communist organization in the Soviet Union for children ranging in age from 10 to 16. Cf.
—v.i.
  1. to act as a pioneer.
—v.t.
  1. to be the first to open or prepare (a way, settlement, etc.).
  2. to take part in the beginnings of; initiate: to pioneer an aid program.
  3. to lead the way for (a group); guide.
—adj.
  1. being the earliest, original, first of a particular kind, etc.: a pioneer method of adult education.
  2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of pioneers: pioneer justice.
  3. being a pioneer: a pioneer fur trader.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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