Definition of ninepins in English:


plural noun

  • 1[usually treated as singular] The traditional form of the game of skittles, using nine pins and played in an alley.

    • ‘The transformation of ninepins to the tenpin game happened in North America, where the original game had also been introduced by the Dutch.’
    • ‘I doubt we'll get any rain out of it, but I like to listen to Rip Van Winkle and the boys playing ninepins all the same.’
    • ‘Not much has changed since Connecticut banned ninepins in 1841.’
    1. 1.1[treated as plural]Skittles used in the game of ninepins.
      • ‘Treat men as pawns and ninepins, and you shall suffer, as well as they.’
      • ‘The series has its fans for one reason: scattering hordes of goons like a bowling ball through ninepins can be gratifying; and, as your efforts control the ebb and flow of battle, there is a surprising level of tactical thought involved.’
      • ‘Well, imagine some of the greatest men in France as these ninepins and then this Monsieur Caratal was the ball which could be seen coming from far away.’
      • ‘Orders for games included 48 chessboards and chessmen, 12 sets of fox and geese, 6 sets of jackstraws, 9 boxes of ninepins, and 3 sets of German tactics.’