- 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.
(third-person singular simple present pigeonholes, present participle pigeonholing, simple past and past participle pigeonholed)
Originally literal hole for pigeons, later similar compartments for papers, then extended metaphorically in verb sense of narrowly categorizing or deferring.