Definition of pincushion in English:



  • 1A small pad for holding pins.

    • ‘Toys, pincushions, junk from 42nd Street suddenly began to collect in his studio.’
    • ‘Vibrantly colored beadwork spilled across the fabric of souvenir pincushions, picture frames and wallpockets designed to appeal to throngs of eager tourists.’
    • ‘I also went over to Patchwork on Central Park yesterday and picked up some green fabric ready for the next bunch of pear pincushions.’
    • ‘These remarkably beautiful beaded pieces are presented alongside an astonishing array of objects created expressly for the Victorian tourist market, including pincushions, photo frames, decorative boxes and wall pieces.’
    • ‘From an old sewing kit, he pulled a tiny pincushion, removed the needles, and headed back.’
    • ‘‘I'll make you an outfit,’ she said and took out a small pincushion out of her gray pocket.’
    • ‘This one, brought with from the Russian schtetl of her past, warns that evil spirits lurk near the pincushion, measuring tape, and scissors.’
    • ‘‘I'll prove it to you,’ he said and took a pin from a nearby pincushion on display.’
    • ‘Ray showed his young viewers how to make everything from pup pencil holders, to mushroom pincushions, to stocking mice.’
  • 2[mass noun] A form of optical distortion in which straight lines along the edge of a screen or a lens bulge towards the centre.

    • ‘During testing I noted no spherical aberration, no astigmatism, no curvature of field, no barrel or pincushion, and no rolling distortion.’
    • ‘Focusing the scopes on the distant brick wall with its very distinct vertical and horizontal lines, we checked for pincushion distortion (lines bowing in) and barrel distortion (lines bowing out).’
    • ‘However I did note a small amount of pincushion distortion.’
    • ‘Examining the camera we noted no astigmatism, curvature of field, rolling distortion, or pincushion distortion.’
  • 3South African An African shrub or tree related to the proteas, with rounded flower heads that resemble pincushions.

    • ‘Proteaceae is a family of flowering plants that includes South Africa's national flower, the king protea (Protea cynaroides, above), as well as the daystar and the pincushions.’
    • ‘The seeds of the pincushion protea are buried in the ground by ants, and germinate only when mature plants have been killed by fire.’
    • ‘They do also feed from pincushion proteas, but do not damage the flowers significantly because the bracts are too narrow to be pierced or scratched by the birds' claws.’
    • ‘The salvia has receded, but the radicchio is still coming up, and I have phlox and pincushions, and there's an evergreen and some holly there in the back.’