Definition of pincushion in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɪnkʊʃ(ə)n/


1A small pad for holding pins.
Example sentences
  • Vibrantly colored beadwork spilled across the fabric of souvenir pincushions, picture frames and wallpockets designed to appeal to throngs of eager tourists.
  • These remarkably beautiful beaded pieces are presented alongside an astonishing array of objects created expressly for the Victorian tourist market, including pincushions, photo frames, decorative boxes and wall pieces.
  • Ray showed his young viewers how to make everything from pup pencil holders, to mushroom pincushions, to stocking mice.
2 (also pincushion distortion) [mass noun] A form of optical distortion in which straight lines along the edge of a screen or a lens bulge towards the centre.
Example sentences
  • Examining the camera we noted no astigmatism, curvature of field, rolling distortion, or pincushion distortion.
  • Focusing the scopes on the distant brick wall with its very distinct vertical and horizontal lines, we checked for pincushion distortion (lines bowing in) and barrel distortion (lines bowing out).
  • However I did note a small amount of pincushion distortion.
3 (also pincushion protea) South African An African shrub or tree related to the proteas, with rounded flower heads that resemble pincushions.
  • Genus Leucospermum, family Proteaceae.
Example sentences
  • The seeds of the pincushion protea are buried in the ground by ants, and germinate only when mature plants have been killed by fire.
  • The salvia has receded, but the radicchio is still coming up, and I have phlox and pincushions, and there's an evergreen and some holly there in the back.
  • They do also feed from pincushion proteas, but do not damage the flowers significantly because the bracts are too narrow to be pierced or scratched by the birds' claws.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pin|cush¦ion

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