Main definitions of pinion in English

: pinion1pinion2

pinion1

noun

  • 1The outer part of a bird's wing including the flight feathers.

    • ‘Yes, this God is very ‘like an eagle watching its nest, hovering over its young, he spreads out his wings to hold him, he supports him on his pinions.’’
    • ‘He turned and began to pace among the flowers, flaring his wings from time to time so that the sunlight glittered off each pinion, and his feathers rippled with iridescence.’
    • ‘I hear him whisper something in his hood, and then with a rush of air, two massive, leathery wings appear from inside his robes, dark green pinions held up by black bones.’
    • ‘Still, I saw a family of deer, a blue jay, a New Forest pony suckling, and a buzzard wheeling so low I could count the individual pinions extended at its wingtips.’
    • ‘His wings were huge, trailing on the ground and raising feet over his head, massive constructions of grey pinions.’
    • ‘Then the fledgling sprang upward, pinions grasping the morning wind, and each assured, graceful motion branded itself in Arun's memory.’
    • ‘The shadows melded to her as though painted on by the pinions of angel wings.’
    • ‘An avian lieutenant with gray pinions chose this moment to arrive, ‘We assumed they would light once they hit the ground.’’
    • ‘It was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank.’
    • ‘They flew throughout the night, glorying in the sensation of flight and the rush of air through their pinions.’
    • ‘It had feathers and pinions made of lightning, and its flesh was solid shadow.’
    • ‘Bright wings opened, the dirt-streaked, longest pinions bracing against the earth as he reeled.’
    • ‘Her wingbones are purple and support raven pinions.’
    • ‘Buglike, and reminding me of dragonfly wings were two long pinions, and just under them were two more.’
    • ‘She stared at the bird for a long moment, the pinions arched as though he were merely sleeping, dreaming about flight.’
    • ‘They were only about twenty feet up, so they looked absolutely huge; I could hear the wind sighing in their pinions, and the way they were talking to each other quietly in metallic, clanging voices.’
    • ‘Her long pinions were light grey, outlined and marked with charcoal stripes, and jet-black at their tips with silver eye-spots.’
    1. 1.1literary A bird's wing as used in flight.
      • ‘Far as eagle's pinion, or dove's light wing can soar.’
      • ‘Nor the pride, nor ample pinion, That the Theban Eagle bear, Sailing with supreme dominion Thro' the azure deep of air.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Restrain or immobilize (someone) by tying up or holding their arms or legs.

    ‘he was pinioned to the ground’
    • ‘Oh, Mr. Goose, it appears that you are pinioned behind a wall of chain!’
    • ‘The latter's figure of King Harold pinioned by an arrow through the eye has been more influential in the historical imagination of generations of British school children than all the patient researches of scholars.’
    • ‘Then she went up and held on to him, pinioned him, her head on his left shoulder.’
    • ‘Finally, with a magnificent sense of the dramatic, we were pinioned by headlights against a wall in a blind alley.’
    • ‘In his haste to escape he fell and was pinioned between the stalks.’
    • ‘Ariel and Audrey were trapped in the corner, pinioned by several of the girls.’
    • ‘Thomas had her pinioned on the bed and was intent on making good his promise.’
    • ‘Within seconds he had me pinioned on my back, his own weight pressing me down.’
    • ‘No one wants to be friends with the guy who spears people in the gut or pinions them under a heavy net.’
    • ‘There he was pinioned to the floor by devices with smooth jaws similar to the trap that had taken him.’
    • ‘Asaire cried out and tried to get away, but the stranger pinioned him down with inhuman strength.’
    • ‘She felt them tighten the strap around her waist and realized that she was now quite securely pinioned.’
    • ‘The matronly Judith, unable to hack off Holofernes's head, carves through it with businesslike concentration, pinioning him to the blood-weltering bed with the help of her equally brutish maidservant.’
    hold down, pin down, press down, restrain, constrain, hold fast, immobilize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Tie up or hold (the arms or legs) of a person.
      ‘I struggled to rise but my arms were pinioned’
      • ‘It took two of them to pinion my arms, I was fighting so hard, and one of them had to clamp a hand over my mouth so I wouldn't be heard if I screamed.’
      • ‘Pretending to be caught by surprise, Jocelyn allowed two thieves to violently pinion her hands behind her back and slap metal cuffs onto her wrists, struggling only after the bonds had been secured.’
      • ‘Mara was behind it in a flash, pinioning the figure's arms to its sides.’
      • ‘‘None of that, I'm afraid miss,’ he chided, pinioning her wrists behind her back.’
      • ‘But before he could finish his sentence, he felt his legs pinioned by a frantic set of arms.’
      • ‘Though her arms were pinioned back by the soldiers, she threw herself on her knees before the ruler.’
      • ‘Students pinioned his leg to prevent any involuntary movement when the surgeon cut into his flesh.’
      • ‘He recaptured my other arm and I was pinioned again.’
      • ‘The scream that was ripped from her throat pierced through the night air as a hand came down over her eyes and a strong arm wrapped around her, pinioning her upper limbs to her sides.’
      • ‘Gaulier bends her at the waist, her arms pinioned behind her, and karate-chops her back.’
      • ‘The drunk, singular in his rebellion, had bitten her hand while they pinioned his limbs down.’
      • ‘When Blakewell awoke, his hands were pinioned behind the small of his back, and his shoulders, waist and arms were tied.’
      • ‘I saw the blow coming and tried to dodge it, but Ramón had both my arms pinioned.’
  • 2Cut off the pinion of (a wing or bird) to prevent flight.

    • ‘Swans are caught and their wings' flight feathers are clipped, or pinioned.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French pignon, based on Latin pinna, penna ‘feather’.

Pronunciation

pinion

/ˈpɪnjən/

Main definitions of pinion in English

: pinion1pinion2

pinion2

noun

  • A small cogwheel or spindle engaging with a large cogwheel.

    • ‘The observations conducted and the data gathered conclude that the root cause of the failure was a mechanical overload of the pinion.’
    • ‘Each labeller may also have a de-mountable label cassette with a drive pinion which meshes with a two-sided timing belt.’
    • ‘A central location on the front of the machine for the swing pinion, swing bearing, and offset cylinder simplifies the job of servicing these items.’
    • ‘The pinions are assembled to an exact position and 28 characteristics are measured to control the positioning of the pinion to the gear itself.’
    • ‘This pinion received its power through a set of extra heavy worm gears controlled by an open and cross belt, producing the reverse movement for tilting the saw in either direction.’
    • ‘The mechanism is almost entirely made of wood, with the movement, frame and wheels in oak, the pendulum in mahogany, and the spindles and pinions in boxwood.’
    • ‘It also features power-assisted rack and pinion steering calibrated to give it one of the smallest turning circles at 9.9 metres, while brakes are front ventilated disc and rear drum.’
    • ‘Rack and pinion is a steering mechanism, which transfers the rotary movement of the steering wheel to the wheels.’
    • ‘You need to have the preload correct in the pinion and spool-bearing area to reduce excessive drag so that the gears run freely.’
    • ‘The ring gear is attached to the motor, the sun gear is connected to the generator, and the engine drives - or is driven by (during starting) - the pinion gears.’
    • ‘Normally I set the nose of the rear downward, so the driveshaft and the pinion have about three degrees of negative angle.’
    • ‘The output pinion of the traverse gearbox meshes with the gear rack segment attached to the carriage body, providing 800 mils of traverse.’
    • ‘The wheels, pinions, coils and chains inside the watch's metal casing are shaped and assembled with a specific purpose in mind: telling the time.’
    • ‘Manganese bronzes are specified for marine propellers and fittings, pinions, ball-bearing races, worm wheels, gear-shift forks and architectural work.’
    • ‘The third step is to mount the wheels on the arbors and to place these assemblies between the front- and backplates in such a way that the wheels and pinions mesh and turn freely.’
    • ‘The design must extend one inch forward of the lower pulley and must extend past the crossmember under the pinion flange.’
    • ‘Steering is electro-hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion, with the electric motor modulating the hydraulic pressure in the system on the basis of steering wheel angular velocity and vehicle speed.’
    • ‘It is used for railroad frogs, for steel mill coupling housings, pinions, spindles, and for dipper lips of power shovels operating in quarries.’
    • ‘If it moves too much before you fill the axle move, you could have wear in the pinion gear or u-joints.’
    • ‘The bit had longitudinal movement via an internal rack and pinion, with a knob on the engaging gear protruding through the spigot wall outside the barrel.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from French pignon, alteration of obsolete pignol, from Latin pinea ‘pine cone’, from pinus ‘pine’.

Pronunciation

pinion

/ˈpɪnjən/