Main definitions of pioneer in English

: pioneer1Pioneer2



  • 1A person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.

    • ‘In the absence of substantial state funding, even pioneers of real-life space exploration missions have to turn their work into a cultural gimmick in order to win investment and publicity.’
    • ‘Petrie was named after Andrew Petrie, civil engineer, pioneer and explorer and the first free settler in Brisbane in 1837.’
    • ‘They are explorers and pioneers in the great tradition like Columbus and Cook who sailed across the oceans.’
    • ‘In other words the pioneers who settled America shot at every lion they saw and they taught the cats to keep their distance.’
    • ‘As British children learned to admire the valour of Drake and Nelson, so young Australians were taught to honour the explorers and pioneers.’
    • ‘But while he speaks of war-time heroes and exploratory pioneers, he forgets about another interesting lifetime.’
    • ‘What if the pioneers had settled America from west to east - from California toward the Atlantic - instead of the other way around?’
    • ‘But let's not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we're pioneers or explorers or selfless discoverers.’
    • ‘The kitchen was housed in a log cabin, because in 1876 it was believed that New England settlers, like frontier pioneers, had lived in log houses.’
    • ‘He discerned the ethos and charm of the pioneers who settled in the ‘Big Woods.’’
    • ‘This goes back to the puritans and pioneers who settled this country.’
    • ‘America was not settled by pioneers toting guns; there were in fact very few firearms in circulation during the colonial period and, indeed, right up to the Civil War.’
    • ‘The U.S. Government could fund and order Lewis and Clark to explore the West, but it could not pay or force pioneers to settle the region.’
    • ‘For the seizure of land by those with no official title to it is no more or less than what was done a thousand times over by European pioneers, explorers, colonialists and Empire builders throughout Africa.’
    • ‘This posting allowed him to fulfill an ambition and he became a pioneer of successful desert exploration during the 1930's.’
    • ‘‘They are like pioneers settling down to build a village,’ Kolter says.’
    • ‘The decision came a month before the start of the Winter Olympics in Utah and can be expected to put the spotlight on plural marriages that once thrived among Mormon pioneers who settled here.’
    • ‘Utah was settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers seeking to establish a theocratic kingdom of God in the desert.’
    • ‘She also loves the questing spirit of explorers, pioneers and artists.’
    • ‘Those astronauts who died were explorers, pioneers and the last of the frontiersmen.’
    settler, colonist, colonizer, frontiersman, frontierswoman, explorer, trailblazer, discoverer
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    1. 1.1 A person who is among the first to research and develop a new area of knowledge or activity.
      ‘a famous pioneer of birth control’
      • ‘In the 100 years since, the Wrights have become the most famous aviation pioneers of all.’
      • ‘A few pioneers like Alfred Stieglitz were trying to establish photography as a fine art.’
      • ‘Born in Hungary in 1879, Rudolph Laban was a pioneer in developing the academic and scientific aspects of dance.’
      • ‘She has been a pioneer in the field of eco-tourism.’
      • ‘Dr. Goldson was a pioneer in developing cancer-fighting treatments.’
      • ‘They met in their early teens and both grew up listening to electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk and Brian Eno.’
      • ‘He was therefore an exploratory pioneer of a genre he did much to identify and define.’
      • ‘Anaesthesiologists have been pioneers in developing and applying patient simulators for research and training.’
      • ‘Other technology pioneers have long since seen tangible benefits.’
      • ‘And Shay Hutchinson has been credited as one of the true pioneers of country music in Ireland.’
      • ‘TiVo pioneered the technology, but the company appears to have gone the way of so many other brave pioneers.’
      • ‘Directors may be pioneers who like to venture into newer and bigger ventures.’
      • ‘The DVD includes deleted scenes and an interview with gay rights pioneer Harry Hay.’
      • ‘According to Williamson, the road to becoming a musical pioneer began early on.’
      • ‘His unflagging dedication to device companies and to the government make him a true pioneer in the industry.’
      • ‘Bill Boomer is considered a creative pioneer in the development of aquatic theory and their applications to all aquatic activities.’
      • ‘The dreams of early Internet pioneers are not alone.’
      • ‘Early computer pioneers actually borrowed directly from the techniques of ancient artists.’
      • ‘One of the speakers was Professor Noel Rose, who many decades ago, was one of the pioneers of autoimmune research.’
      • ‘Holism was the great buzzword of the early pioneers of the green movement.’
      developer, innovator, groundbreaker, trailblazer, pathfinder, front runner, founder, founding father, architect, experimenter, instigator, avant-gardist, creator
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    2. 1.2 (in the former Soviet Union and other communist countries) a member of a children's movement that aimed to foster communist ideals.
      • ‘Pioneers swear in fidelity to the Communist Party and Lenin.’
      • ‘The Pioneer movement was in fact, if not officially, controlled by the Communist Party.’
      • ‘In the preparation of Pioneers for the construction of communism and the defense of the socialist homeland the military games occupy a relevant place’
    3. 1.3 A member of an infantry group preparing roads or terrain for the main body of troops.
      • ‘Many hands make light work: Cpl Peter Gardiner assists his workforce of East Timorese Defence Force assault pioneers and Tonnabibi villagers in lifting a beam.’
      • ‘Each cantonment had its own workshops for servicing and repairing vehicles and its own crews of pioneers for servicing and repairing the road.’
      • ‘The idea of combining different arms was not new but for the sappers and the pioneers there were significant lessons learned throughout the deployment as a joint group.’
      • ‘Although assault pioneers were all trained riflemen and could fight as a rifle platoon, their value to the battalion was in their versatility.’
      • ‘First and foremost, assault pioneers are infantrymen.’
      • ‘Very broadly speaking, in most armies the low-status pioneers, sometimes not even regarded as soldiers, did the work and the engineers got the credit.’
      • ‘Artilleryman, medics, pioneers and mortarmen, were all needed and eager Diggers stepped forward to fill the ranks.’
    4. 1.4 (in Ireland) a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a Catholic temperance society.
      • ‘Tickets are now on sale for the Tireragh pioneer association draw with valuable prizes for the lucky winners.’
      • ‘At present in Singida the Pallotine Fathers are trying to promote the pioneers association.’
      • ‘Four sections are eligible to take part provided they are members of the pioneer association.’
      • ‘Go away and live and Peru, and take all your vodka with you, we're god - fearing pioneers here in Ireland!’
      • ‘The annual mass of the pioneer association will take place in the parish church on the 20th of June at 7.30 pm and all are welcome.’
      • ‘The big talking point in Raheen at the moment is the local pioneers total abstinence association summer outing which will take place on Sunday, June 25.’
      • ‘Anyone attending the National Schools is also encouraged to join the pioneer association.’
      • ‘Only God knows the fully positive impact of the pioneer association to what is good in Irish society.’
      • ‘The Raheen branch of the pioneer total abstinence association have planned a summer outing for members for Sunday, July 27.’
      • ‘There was a big turn out at the table quiz for schools organized by the regional council of the pioneers association held in the old school on Friday last 6th December.’


  • 1Develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity)

    ‘the technique was pioneered by a Swiss doctor in the 1930s’
    • ‘In the meantime, he managed to pioneer what is now known as cultural studies.’
    • ‘Many of today's commercial supercomputer applications were pioneered by scientists and engineers working on problems of great national importance.’
    • ‘Against opposition from Technicolor labs, Cardiff also successfully pioneered the use of fog filters on Black Narcissus.’
    • ‘There are companies pioneering workplace practices that encourage community involvement and family connectedness among employees.’
    • ‘Their aim was to pioneer a new approach to business and technology consulting.’
    • ‘Scots will pioneer new decentralised approaches to health and place much more accent on prevention.’
    • ‘After successfully pioneering advanced networking tech at Crown Plaza, O'Connor is extending the technology to other hotels.’
    • ‘Renault pioneered the turbo concept and produced a winner and even the V10 layout.’
    • ‘The health care provider is pioneering the concept of preventive, pro-active and managed care.’
    • ‘Health screening, originally pioneered to detect female cancers, is spreading its net.’
    • ‘Ford, the father of modern manufacturing, also pioneered modern business techniques such as lean manufacturing and just-in-time fulfillment.’
    • ‘Levis and his group began pioneering this revolutionary technology about a decade ago.’
    • ‘The superbly organized anti-slavery committee also pioneered several techniques used ever since.’
    • ‘He pioneered the genre of Afrobeat, a mix of jazz and funk with traditional African themes.’
    • ‘Mr Budge said he would overcome the geological problems with so-called retreat mining, a technique successfully pioneered at Selby.’
    • ‘IT firms are also pioneering the use of stock options.’
    • ‘Breck joined with Roberts in pioneering the use of motion pictures in nature photography.’
    • ‘Since these ideas were pioneered, technology has transformed the day-to-day practice of architecture.’
    • ‘AOL Time Warner is among the media companies pioneering this new age of partnerships.’
    • ‘Even with users pioneering a common-sense approach, some vendors are still pushing anachronistic solutions.’
    develop, introduce, evolve, start, begin, launch, instigate, initiate, put in place, take the initiative in, take the lead in, spearhead, institute, establish, found, give birth to, be the father of, be the mother of, originate, set in motion, create, open up, lay the groundwork for, lead the way for, prepare the way for, lay the foundations of
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    1. 1.1 Open up (a road or terrain) as a pioneer.
      • ‘It was like pioneering new territory; you never knew what you would find.’
      • ‘It was pioneered by men of capital and education who were disciples of Henry George and provided their own funds.’
      settle, settle in, establish a colony in, people, populate, open up, found
      View synonyms


Early 16th century (as a military term denoting a member of the infantry): from French pionnier ‘foot soldier, pioneer’, Old French paonier, from paon, from Latin pedo, pedon- (see pawn).




Main definitions of pioneer in English

: pioneer1Pioneer2


proper noun

  • A series of American space probes launched between 1958 and 1973, two of which provided the first clear pictures of Jupiter and Saturn (1973–9).