There are 2 main definitions of pioneer in English:

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pioneer 1

Pronunciation: /pʌɪəˈnɪə/


1A person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.
Example sentences
  • The decision came a month before the start of the Winter Olympics in Utah and can be expected to put the spotlight on plural marriages that once thrived among Mormon pioneers who settled here.
  • Those astronauts who died were explorers, pioneers and the last of the frontiersmen.
  • What if the pioneers had settled America from west to east - from California toward the Atlantic - instead of the other way around?
settler, colonist, colonizer, frontiersman/frontierswoman, explorer, trailblazer, discoverer
1.1A person who is among the first to research and develop a new area of knowledge or activity: a famous pioneer of birth control
More example sentences
  • Anaesthesiologists have been pioneers in developing and applying patient simulators for research and training.
  • Dr. Goldson was a pioneer in developing cancer-fighting treatments.
  • Born in Hungary in 1879, Rudolph Laban was a pioneer in developing the academic and scientific aspects of dance.
avant-garde, spearhead
formal neoteric
1.2(In the former Soviet Union and other communist countries) a member of a children’s movement that aimed to foster communist ideals.
Example sentences
  • The Pioneer movement was in fact, if not officially, controlled by the Communist Party.
  • Pioneers swear in fidelity to the Communist Party and Lenin.
  • In the preparation of Pioneers for the construction of communism and the defense of the socialist homeland the military games occupy a relevant place
1.3A member of an infantry group preparing roads or terrain for the main body of troops.
Example sentences
  • First and foremost, assault pioneers are infantrymen.
  • The idea of combining different arms was not new but for the sappers and the pioneers there were significant lessons learned throughout the deployment as a joint group.
  • Artilleryman, medics, pioneers and mortarmen, were all needed and eager Diggers stepped forward to fill the ranks.
1.4(In Ireland) a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a Catholic temperance society.
Example sentences
  • The Raheen branch of the pioneer total abstinence association have planned a summer outing for members for Sunday, July 27.
  • The big talking point in Raheen at the moment is the local pioneers total abstinence association summer outing which will take place on Sunday, June 25.
  • Four sections are eligible to take part provided they are members of the pioneer association.


[with object]
1Develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity): the technique was pioneered by a Swiss doctor in the 1930s
More example sentences
  • Mr Budge said he would overcome the geological problems with so-called retreat mining, a technique successfully pioneered at Selby.
  • Against opposition from Technicolor labs, Cardiff also successfully pioneered the use of fog filters on Black Narcissus.
  • The superbly organized anti-slavery committee also pioneered several techniques used ever since.
develop, introduce, evolve, start, begin, launch, instigate, initiate, put in place, take the initiative in, take the lead in, spearhead, institute, establish, found, give birth to, be the father/mother of, originate, set in motion, create, open up, lay the groundwork for, lead the way for, prepare the way for, lay the foundations of;
1.1Open up (a road or terrain) as a pioneer.
Example sentences
  • It was like pioneering new territory; you never knew what you would find.
  • It was pioneered by men of capital and education who were disciples of Henry George and provided their own funds.


Early 16th century (as a military term denoting a member of the infantry): from French pionnier 'foot soldier, pioneer', Old French paonier, from paon, from Latin pedo, pedon- (see pawn1).

Words that rhyme with pioneer

adhere, Agadir, Anglosphere, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, career, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, cheer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hand-rear, hear, here, Hosea, idea, interfere, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre
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There are 2 main definitions of pioneer in English:

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Pioneer 2

Pronunciation: /ˌpʌɪəˈnɪə/
A series of American space probes launched between 1958 and 1973, two of which provided the first clear pictures of Jupiter and Saturn (1973-9).
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