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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘The reason we do Shakespeare is, it's like a diamond - it's multifaceted, you can't pin it down.’
    • ‘But I don't think their mechanics has been pinned down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1955, the timing was pinned down by a radiocarbon-dating study, which revealed that the temperature change had been rapid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later on, the affair was pinned down onto a group of middle-level cadres.’
    • ‘Critics of such schemes argue that they offer too narrow a definition of sculpture, pinning it down to a monumental tradition.’
    • ‘Loops and riffs are pinned down by atmospheric guitars and beautiful, perfect, writhing bass lines.’
    • ‘I've worked hard, I've done my best, and I've pinned something down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Completely undermines the guilt-tripping by pinning it down to hard numbers.’
    • ‘I was hoping we would at least get some dates and times that would have helped pin things 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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyway, let's try and put the mess into some sort of order and pin the bastards down.’
    • ‘Maybe a clarification of the Litesports position in the glider ranks would be helpful but it is difficult to pin it down.’
    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
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