Definition of linchpin in US English:

linchpin

(also lynchpin)

noun

  • 1A person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization.

    ‘regular brushing is the linchpin of all good dental hygiene’
    • ‘The United States is the lynchpin of interregional telecommunications traffic, but European countries generate a third more international traffic flows than North America.’
    • ‘A lynchpin of advocacy for literacy programs is that changes in technology and the organization of work are steadily raising the minimum basic skill levels for most types of work.’
    • ‘The diversity and broad appeal that had been the linchpin of its success now drained away like vital oil.’
    • ‘The new building is the linchpin of the medical centre's £62 million redevelopment programme.’
    • ‘After the mass slaughter of the First World War, military cemeteries and war monuments became lynchpins of heavily gendered nationalist myths which were easily appropriated by the National Socialists.’
    • ‘Disguised as customers, agents of the three US film companies and public notaries bought a series of popular DVDs at the defendants' outlets and then used the evidence as the lynchpin to their case.’
    • ‘Holt, who Allcock describes as his friend and protégé, did not let him down with an outstanding display of bowling as the lynchpin of the team.’
    • ‘They are one of the lynchpins of ‘Blue Link’, a $15 million initiative formally launched in Sydney in October.’
    • ‘It is the linchpin in the effort to give legitimacy to the post-Cold War settlement, while ensuring that it does not become detached either from power or compelling national interests.’
    • ‘But at the same time, she said that these memos, which after all was the lynchpin, the core of your broadcast, were not real.’
    • ‘Forti remained a commanding presence as well as the narrative lynchpin, interweaving memories of her family's harrowing escape from Italy during World War II.’
    • ‘They're the linchpin of Republican efforts to hold the House’
    • ‘Corporations are replacing religion as the lynchpin of Western culture; historians could thus look back on us as we do now on the Greeks or Egyptians, centering their culture around their religious practices.’
    • ‘Herzog is an uncompromising filmmaker whose works have, as their lynchpins, visions of surreal, breathtaking intensity.’
    • ‘The lynchpins of the album are undoubtedly two early, majestic songs that distill the mix of the down-to-earth and the interstellar to its purest state.’
    • ‘Throughout American history, the family has been seen as the linchpin of the social order and the basis for stable governance.’
    • ‘The linchpin to maintaining worker safety and efficiency is preplanning.’
    • ‘Nuclear weapons are the linchpin neither of the U.S. position in the world nor of its security.’
    • ‘Documenting the role the government and corporations played in slavery is the linchpin of the reparations effort, says Walters.’
    • ‘Nurses will be the linchpin to the Government's grandiose plans to modernise and improve the National Health Service, one of their leaders says.’
    heart, nucleus, nub, hub, kernel, marrow, meat
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  • 2A pin passed through the end of an axle to keep a wheel in position.

    • ‘He put the wheel back and secured it with a new linchpin, which he carved from a piece of wood.’
    centre, focal point, central point, centre of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, cornerstone, kingpin, bedrock, basis, anchor, backbone, cynosure
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old English lynis (in the sense ‘linchpin’) + pin.

Pronunciation

linchpin

/ˈlɪn(t)ʃpɪn//ˈlin(t)SHpin/