Definition of pin something down in English:

pin something down

phrasal verb

  • Define or identify something precisely.

    ‘the government's ideology is bafflingly difficult to pin down’
    • ‘Det Sgt Stansbie said: ‘In the past people have estimated which drugs offenders were taking in the district but this has been the first time we can pin the figure down as a matter of fact.’’
    • ‘One could argue that the main reason HP shares have been pinned down by rivals stems from investors' perception of HP as being caught between services rich IBM and nimble, cheap Dell.’
    • ‘But I don't think their mechanics has been pinned down.’
    • ‘Had you asked me thirty or forty years ago I would have pinned it down instantly, but it has somehow fogged over in the mists of time.’
    • ‘This diversity is true of all traditions, religions or nations even though some of their adherents have futilely tried to draw boundaries around themselves and pin their creeds down neatly.’
    • ‘I was hoping we would at least get some dates and times that would have helped pin things down.’
    • ‘In 1955, the timing was pinned down by a radiocarbon-dating study, which revealed that the temperature change had been rapid.’
    • ‘Robert Weisbuch's analysis of the poem is the most eloquent argument I've read for refusing to pin the poem down to the kind of allegorical reading I am doing here.’
    • ‘Later on, the affair was pinned down onto a group of middle-level cadres.’
    • ‘Anyway, let's try and put the mess into some sort of order and pin the bastards down.’
    • ‘Critics of such schemes argue that they offer too narrow a definition of sculpture, pinning it down to a monumental tradition.’
    • ‘Castle Point Council had 50 complaints on the matter, and as well as pinning the problem down to the sewage works, is also probing pongs in other parts of the island, thought to be coming from other sources.’
    • ‘The artist's visual parables slither deftly away before their exact meaning can be pinned down; they remain, at their core, as tantalizingly mysterious as dreams.’
    • ‘Loops and riffs are pinned down by atmospheric guitars and beautiful, perfect, writhing bass lines.’
    • ‘The reason we do Shakespeare is, it's like a diamond - it's multifaceted, you can't pin it down.’
    • ‘Maybe a clarification of the Litesports position in the glider ranks would be helpful but it is difficult to pin it down.’
    • ‘Under the Government's new licensing act, if a disorder problem can be pinned down to a particular bar, pub or club, the licensee will be hauled before the council's licensing committee’
    • ‘There's more about the honeybees in Anarchist Bees in The Economist, where I seem to remember it saying Oldroyd's team had pinned the mutation down to a single gene, called alien.’
    • ‘‘Why do we need to pin it down,’ asked one of the presenters, ‘when its potential is that it is happening all the time?’’
    • ‘The Institute has taken all the photographs and tried to pin them down to precise locations and times, matching them to a known war crime incident.’
    • ‘Completely undermines the guilt-tripping by pinning it down to hard numbers.’
    • ‘I've worked hard, I've done my best, and I've pinned something down.’
    • ‘I wish I had access to Lexis-Nexis right now, because I'm sure I could pin this story down if her old columns for the NY Post are up there.’
    define, put one's finger on, put into words, put words to, express in words, express, designate, name, specify, identify, pinpoint, place, home in on
    View synonyms