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- a chess piece of the smallest size and value, that moves one square forwards along its file if unobstructed (or two on the first move), or one square diagonally forwards when making a capture. Each player begins with eight pawns on the second rank, and can promote a pawn to become any other piece (typically a queen) if it reaches the opponent’s end of the board.
late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French poun, from medieval Latin pedo, pedon- 'foot soldier', from Latin pes, ped- 'foot'. Compare with peon