There are 2 definitions of pin in English:

pin1

Line breaks: pin
Pronunciation: /pɪn
 
/

noun

1A thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end and a round head at the other, used for fastening pieces of cloth, paper, etc.
More example sentences
  • One of them cleverly decorates a vase by drawing plant leaves using a sharp pin, while another shapes small frog-like figures to be put on ashtrays.
  • To adjust the fit, stick the tapes on the underneath side to the front of the nappy or use grips or pins to fasten a cloth nappy.
  • She had already filed down one end of the pin to have a sharp point and thin width; it had never hurt to be prepared before.
Synonyms
1.1A small brooch or badge: a gold and diamond lapel pin
More example sentences
  • Jewellery in the form of bracelet, rings, pins and earrings have been used universally since time immemorial.
  • The cufflinks, lapel pins and brooches have been made in Orkney and are available only to MSPs and parliament visitors.
  • In my satchel I had a black leathern pouch stuffed with silver pieces, and the tiny red one, full of rings and pins and brooches and chains.
Synonyms
1.2 Medicine A steel rod used to join the ends of fractured bones while they heal.
More example sentences
  • The operation was success and her femur was pinned together with three large metal pins.
  • Surgeons at St James's Hospital in Leeds, where she was treated, thought she may lose her legs but managed to save them with a variety of metal implants, screws, plates and pins.
  • They removed damaged tissue and inserted bolts and pins, trying to piece together his shattered bones and tendons.
1.3A metal peg that holds down the activating lever of a hand grenade, preventing its explosion.
More example sentences
  • I woke the other day with this quote floating around in my head ‘When you remove the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend.’
  • Kerry didn't see an opportunity; he saw a hand grenade with the pin taken out.
  • Orr simply walked across the sand, clambered on to one of the tanks, ‘popped’ the pins on his hand grenades and moved over the edge of the hatch.
1.4A hairpin.
More example sentences
  • Pull your hair back and attach the pins vertically on both sides.
  • Tuck the ends of your hair under the knot and secure with a bobby pin.
1.5 Music A peg round which one string of a musical instrument is fastened.
More example sentences
  • ‘You give people individual notes like the little pins in a musical box’, he chided the composer.
2A metal projection from a plug or an integrated circuit which makes an electrical connection with a socket or another part of a circuit: [as modifier, in combination]: a three-pin plug
More example sentences
  • These pins plug into the circuit board of the product for which the chip is intended.
  • The circuit couples the speaker connection of the first pin to the microphone connection of the second pin.
  • Through holes are also provided on the board for user expansion via a 96 pin DIN connector.
3 Golf A stick with a flag placed in a hole to mark its position.
More example sentences
  • His third shot out of the sand sees the ball roll 20 feet past the pin but he holes the tricky par putt.
  • Can you imagine wanting to play golf without greens, targets, pins, or holes.
  • In a round that included three birdies and seven pars, she also claimed near pins on holes eight and fifteen, and the long putt on hole nine.
3.1A skittle in bowling.
More example sentences
  • Wandering among its pillars, I felt like an ant among the pins of a bowling alley: 134 awesome skittles, each more elaborately decorated than the last.
  • They have 6 Mexican boys working for the YMCA bowling alley setting pins.
  • And this idea is related to the ending of the film, where you see the strings that pull on the pins in the bowling alley.
4 (pins) informal A person’s legs: she was very nimble on her pins
More example sentences
  • Even if you can't sing, can't dance but have a half decent set of pins and can play football, a new reality TV series wants to hear from you.
  • If my auld pins were half a century or so younger, I'd give it a go meself.
  • For those with THE perfect pins, hemlines from micro short and slim fitting will suit individual tastes.
5 Chess An attack on a piece or pawn which is thereby pinned.
More example sentences
  • In order to differentiate between the White and Black pieces, the Black ones have small pins or pips on the top.
  • Black breaks the pin caused by White's dark-squared Bishop while developing a piece and preparing to castle.
  • Black still has the pin against the undefended rook on h1, so it becomes a question of whether Black can defend his knight more times than White can attack it.
6British historical A half-firkin cask for beer.
More example sentences
  • The gas (IN) fitting of a pin-lock-style keg has two pins; the beer fitting has three.

verb (pins, pinning, pinned)

[with object and adverbial] Back to top  
1Attach or fasten with a pin or pins: he pinned the badge on to his lapel her hair was pinned back
More example sentences
  • One young woman recalled the way her badges had been pinned to her school blazer; another said she'd never forget Leigh's smile.
  • Mikey pins a large decorated badge of Jackie Robinson on the Golem, who smiles.
  • Attach and pin the pre-curled hair wefts around the base of the ponytail anchoring to the previously placed bobby pins.
Synonyms
2Hold (someone) firmly in a specified position so they are unable to move: she was standing pinned against the door Richards pinned him down until the police arrived
More example sentences
  • Inside a small apartment, Adam was pinned against the door with a hand across his mouth.
  • The man, who has not been named, had to be released by firefighters after he was pinned against a fence by the lorry at a Weymouth industrial estate on Wednesday morning.
  • Anthon moved so fast, Kiki hardly had time to react and when she did, she was pinned against her car with Anthon's hand at her throat.
Synonyms
hold, restrain, press, pinion, constrain, hold fast, hold down, immobilize
3 [with object] Chess Hinder or prevent (a piece or pawn) from moving because of the danger to a more valuable piece standing behind it along the line of an attack: the black rook on e4 is pinned
More example sentences
  • Since the black queen is pinned to the black king by the white rook, the queen cannot be moved off the e-file.
  • White Bishop on e2 is pinned to the White King.

Origin

late Old English pinn, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch pin 'pin, peg', from Latin pinna 'point, tip, edge'.

Phrases

(as) clean (or neat) as a new pin

Extremely clean or neat.
More example sentences
  • I've made him as neat as a new pin this morning, and he says the Bishop will think him too buckish by half.
  • He kept the big upper room, where his best customers gathered, as neat as a new pin.

for two pins I'd (or he'd, she'd, etc.) ——

British Used to convey strong temptation to do something, typically from annoyance or irritation: for two pins I’d have tipped that bowl and all its contents over her

be able to hear a pin drop

Used to describe absolute silence or stillness: there was a pause in which you could have heard a pin drop
More example sentences
  • And if you can hold eight hundred people in dead silence and hear a pin drop you know something's going right.
  • There was a minute's silence for Paul and you could have heard a pin drop.
  • At one point he says not only can he hear a pin drop but can hear it dropping it through the air.

pin one's colours to the mast

see mast1.

pin one's ears back

Listen carefully.
More example sentences
  • It's pinning their ears back, throwing out question after question you know they can't answer correctly and then attacking every single syllable they toss up from their defensive crouch.

pin one's hopes (or faith) on

Rely heavily on: ministers were pinning their hopes on a big-spending Christmas
More example sentences
  • When astrophysicist Joseph Smith, Ph.D., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1984, he may have been tempted to pin his hopes on stardust.
  • Many Hispanics pin hopes on pope's visit.
Synonyms
rely on, count on, depend on, place reliance on, lean on, bank on, trust, be sure of, trust in, place one's trust in, have (every) confidence in, believe in, put one's faith in, swear by, take for granted, take on trust, take as read

Phrasal verbs

pin someone down

Force someone to be specific or make a commitment: he’s very hard to pin down
More example sentences
  • ‘I was one of the first to be born on dry land,’ Wood elaborates three days later, when the restless Rolling Stone can be pinned down for a proper interview at his house in Kingston upon Thames.
  • When I arrive he hands me a CV of his glittering business career but, curiously, his birthdate is missing and he will be pinned down to nothing more than being a 60-something.
  • He is also broke, trying to pay his mortgage and live a simple life whenever he is not pinned down by investigators for tax evasion.
Synonyms
make someone commit themselves, constrain, force, compel, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, tie down, nail down

pin something down

Define or identify something precisely: the government’s ideology is bafflingly difficult to pin down
More example sentences
  • Under the Government's new licensing act, if a disorder problem can be pinned down to a particular bar, pub or club, the licensee will be hauled before the council's licensing committee
  • One could argue that the main reason HP shares have been pinned down by rivals stems from investors' perception of HP as being caught between services rich IBM and nimble, cheap Dell.
  • Loops and riffs are pinned down by atmospheric guitars and beautiful, perfect, writhing bass lines.
Synonyms
define, put one's finger on, put into words, put words to, express in words, express, designate, name, specify, identify, pinpoint, place, home in on

pin something on

Attribute the blame or responsibility for something to (someone): they pinned the blame for the loss of jobs on the trade unions
More example sentences
  • Gagliano tried to pin the blame on the bureaucrats responsible.
  • These qualities can occur in any shape of family and in any kind of childcare, so we shouldn't get caught up in pinning the blame on single parents or working mothers - it's the emotional dynamics which count.
  • In an attempt to shore up his credibility, Chirac tried to distance himself from the referendum debacle by pinning the blame on his prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
Synonyms
blame something on, lay the blame for something on, attribute something to, impute something to, ascribe something to; blame someone for something, hold someone responsible for something, lay something at someone's door

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