- a small recess or hole for pigeons to nest in, usually in a compartmented structure
- a small open compartment, as in a desk, for filing papers
- A small compartment or recess, as in a desk, for holding papers; a cubbyhole.
- A specific, often oversimplified category.
- The small hole or holes in a pigeon loft for nesting.
transitive verbpi·geon·holed, pi·geon·hol·ing, pi·geon·holes
- To place or file in a small compartment or recess.
- To classify mentally; categorize.
- To put aside and ignore; shelve.
- A nook in a desk for holding papers.
- One of an array of compartments for sorting post, messages etc. at an office, or college (for example).
- Fred was disappointed at the lack of post in his pigeonhole.
- A hole, or roosting place for pigeons.
(third-person singular simple present pigeonholes, present participle pigeonholing, simple past and past participle pigeonholed)
- pigeonhole principle
Originally literal hole for pigeons, later similar compartments for papers, then extended metaphorically in verb sense of narrowly categorizing or deferring.