- A small device, made (usually) of drawn-out steel wire with one end sharpened and the other flattened or rounded into a head, used for fastening.
- A small nail with a head and a sharp point.
- A cylinder often of wood or metal used to fasten or as a bearing between two parts.
- Pull the pin out of the grenade before throwing it at the enemy.
- A slender object specially designed for use in a specific game or sport, such as skittles or bowling.
- (in plural pins; informal) A leg.
- I'm not so good on my pins these days.
- (electricity) Any of the individual connecting elements of a multipole electrical connector.
- The UK standard connector for domestic mains electricity has three pins.
- A piece of jewellery that is attached to clothing with a pin.
- (US) A simple accessory that can be attached to clothing with a pin or fastener, often round and bearing a design, logo or message, and used for decoration, identification or to show political affiliation, etc.
- (chess) A scenario in which moving a lesser piece to escape from attack would expose a more valuable piece to attack.
- (curling) The spot at the exact centre of the house (the target area)
- The shot landed right on the pin.
- (dated) A mood, a state of being.
- One of a row of pegs in the side of an ancient drinking cup to mark how much each person should drink.
- A thing of small value; a trifle.
- A peg in musical instruments for increasing or relaxing the tension of the strings.
- (engineering) A short shaft, sometimes forming a bolt, a part of which serves as a journal.
- The tenon of a dovetail joint.
(third-person singular simple present pins, present participle pinning, simple past and past participle pinned)
- (often followed by a preposition such as to or on) To fasten or attach (something) with a pin.
- (chess, usually in the passive) To cause (a piece) to be in a pin.
- (wrestling) To pin down (someone).
- To enclose; to confine; to pen; to pound.
- (computing, graphical user interface) To attach (an icon, application, etc.) to another item.
- to pin a window to the Taskbar
- Alternative form of peen.
From Middle English pinne, from Old English pinn (“pin, peg, bolt"), from Proto-Germanic *pinnaz, *pinnÅ, *pint- (“protruding point, peak, peg, pin, nail"), from Proto-Indo-European *bend- (“protruding object, pointed peg, nail, edge"). Cognate with Dutch pin (“peg, pin"), Low German pin, pinne (“pin, point, nail, peg"), German Pinn, Pinne (“pin, tack, peg"), Bavarian Pfonzer, Pfunzer (“sharpened point"), Danish pind (“pin, pointed stick"), Norwegian pinn (“knitting-needle"), Swedish pinne (“peg, rod, stick"), Icelandic pinni (“pin"). More at pintle.
No relation to classical Latin pinna (“fin, flipper, wing-like appendage, wing, feather"), which was extended to mean "ridge, peak, point" (compare pinnacle), and often confused with Latin penna (“wing, feather"). More at feather.