Linchpin meaning

lĭnch'pĭn'
A pin that goes through the end of an axle outside the wheel to keep the wheel from coming off.
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The definition of a linchpin is a pin that holds the wheel onto the end of an axle, or something that holds things together.

An example of a linchpin is an argument that connects evidence and effectively proofs a point.

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Anything or anyone regarded as crucial or essential.
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A pin inserted through holes at the end of an axle, so as to secure a wheel.
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(figuratively) A central cohesive source of stability and security; a person or thing that is critical to a system or organisation.
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A locking pin inserted in the end of a shaft, as in an axle, to prevent a wheel from slipping off.
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A central cohesive element.

Reduced spending is the linchpin of their economic program.

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Origin of linchpin

  • Middle English linspin lins linchpin (from Old English lynis) pin pin (from Old English pinn pin)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Middle English lynspin, compound of lins 'axletree' and pin, from Old English lynis 'linchpin', from Proto-Germanic *luniso (compare German Lünse), from Proto-Indo-European (compare Welsh olwyn (“wheel"), Old Armenian Õ¸Õ²Õ¶ (oÅ‚n, “back; spine, backbone"), Sanskrit [script?] (āṇís)). Figurative use attested from the mid-20th century.
    From Wiktionary