Definition of pin in English:



  • 1A thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end and a round head at the other, used especially for fastening pieces of cloth.

    • ‘The Major applied the last of the bandage cloth and used a pin to keep it in place.’
    • ‘Insert map pins, metal tacks, and pushpins with plastic heads to create dots, stripes, and hearts.’
    • ‘But he's also hoping a wall piece covered by pins from every city he crossed will fetch a fair sum.’
    • ‘One of them cleverly decorates a vase by drawing plant leaves using a sharp pin, while another shapes small frog-like figures to be put on ashtrays.’
    • ‘Wig pins are small and usually have a sharp point at one end to help the pins penetrate the wig piece.’
    • ‘The works are fashioned from paper and use ink, glitter and pins and are incredibly delicate, erotic and dense.’
    • ‘I have made the universe out of paper and pencil and pins.’
    • ‘Use a pin to push the paper bits gently back into place so they're hidden by the stitches.’
    • ‘To save time replacing the pins, I taped little colored pieces of paper on the floor where the pins went.’
    • ‘Make sure there are places your dog can get stuck in or fall from and there is no sharp objects like nails or pins laying around.’
    • ‘I sure hope whoever put that diaper on fastened the pin tight.’
    • ‘The pushpin color photograms are created by placing the pins directly into the photographic paper surface in the color darkroom.’
    • ‘She said today's nappies were a far cry from the terry towelling nappies boiling on a stove and the need to juggle metal pins.’
    • ‘Victor carefully threads the sharp pin through Laurie's sweater.’
    • ‘At the age of 14 he became interested in curves he could draw using a pen held by thread looped round pins.’
    • ‘Although the plastic pinned poppies are less dangerous, they often require metal pins to keep them in place.’
    • ‘The metal in the pin and screws was the finest space-age steel alloy.’
    • ‘To adjust the fit, stick the tapes on the underneath side to the front of the nappy or use grips or pins to fasten a cloth nappy.’
    • ‘Documents are copied with carbon paper and then held together by straight pins.’
    • ‘She had already filed down one end of the pin to have a sharp point and thin width; it had never hurt to be prepared before.’
    tack, safety pin, nail, staple, skewer, spike, brad, fastener
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    1. 1.1A small brooch or badge.
      • ‘Van Dyke chuckles and asks if we might like to take some lapel pins home with us.’
      • ‘Kerry fundraisers will be busy as bees this week as they take to the streets of the county selling pots of honey and lapel pins in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland.’
      • ‘Hanging from the brooch pin was a white crystal on a worn leather thong.’
      • ‘There are angel bookends, guardian angel lapel pins and ceramic candle-holder angels.’
      • ‘The cufflinks, lapel pins and brooches have been made in Orkney and are available only to MSPs and parliament visitors.’
      • ‘Due to the small size, we related the netsuke to our Western-style jewelry of pendants and pins.’
      • ‘We also add jewelry, from rings and bracelets to pins and neckwear.’
      • ‘The class also received public relations catalyst lapel pins.’
      • ‘They ranged from the production of brass and other non-ferrous metals to screws, nuts, bolts, chains and anchors, pins, and jewellery.’
      • ‘In my satchel I had a black leathern pouch stuffed with silver pieces, and the tiny red one, full of rings and pins and brooches and chains.’
      • ‘Rings, bangles, ear-rings, and nose pins are among the Vivah collection.’
      • ‘Bronze brooches and pins, dress fasteners, silver rings, knives, beads of amber and glass and even some objects that seem to be made of ivory appear as the shallow graves were excavated.’
      • ‘Studying it, it appeared that it could actually be a pin more than a brooch.’
      • ‘As a material it was used for making a wide variety of objects but was especially common for jewellery such as brooches, buckles, belt ends, dress pins and rings.’
      • ‘Her work includes headpieces, necklaces, rings and pins.’
      • ‘Joe and I had found lapel pins and baggage stickers with a Canadian maple leaf design; these too were part of the kit.’
      • ‘Jewellery in the form of bracelet, rings, pins and earrings have been used universally since time immemorial.’
      • ‘He also had pins and badges of all the bands Tina had mentioned, plus a couple of more.’
      • ‘Strands of faux pearls, hand-painted ladies' lapel pins, and other jeweled accents amplify the theme of the day.’
      • ‘Prison Service Orders say staff should not wear unauthorised badges or pins, and whatever the reasons for wearing it, the badge concerned could be misconstrued.’
      badge, brooch, sticker
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    2. 1.2Medicine A steel rod used to join the ends of fractured bones while they heal.
      • ‘The woman next to me was in an accident and had metal pins surgically planted into her back for reconstruction.’
      • ‘Surgeons at St James's Hospital in Leeds, where she was treated, thought she may lose her legs but managed to save them with a variety of metal implants, screws, plates and pins.’
      • ‘His knee will now be held together by metal pins.’
      • ‘They removed damaged tissue and inserted bolts and pins, trying to piece together his shattered bones and tendons.’
      • ‘The operation was success and her femur was pinned together with three large metal pins.’
    3. 1.3A metal peg that holds down the activating lever of a hand grenade, preventing its explosion.
      • ‘Kerry didn't see an opportunity; he saw a hand grenade with the pin taken out.’
      • ‘Orr simply walked across the sand, clambered on to one of the tanks, ‘popped’ the pins on his hand grenades and moved over the edge of the hatch.’
      • ‘I woke the other day with this quote floating around in my head ‘When you remove the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend.’’
      • ‘After nearly three hundred years of grenade technology development, and the best way to activate it was still the old-fashioned pin.’
    4. 1.4
      short for hairpin
      • ‘Pull your hair back and attach the pins vertically on both sides.’
      • ‘Tuck the ends of your hair under the knot and secure with a bobby pin.’
    5. 1.5Music A peg around which one string of a musical instrument is fastened.
      • ‘‘You give people individual notes like the little pins in a musical box’, he chided the composer.’
  • 2A metal projection from a plug or an integrated circuit that makes an electrical connection with a socket or another part of a circuit.

    • ‘The processor, for example, must be installed with great care, since the socket's pins can become easily bent.’
    • ‘I was a little surprised that a 4 pin molex connection is required, as the fan doesn't really draw a lot of power.’
    • ‘Breathing deeply, I pulled the pin on the smoke bomb and hurled it at an unsuspecting Enrico, who was walking with a phone and had Jeff by his side.’
    • ‘These pins plug into the circuit board of the product for which the chip is intended.’
    • ‘One of the sockets is only 2 pins, and this is for a ‘Fan Only’ cable.’
    • ‘It is an 80 pin connector that is designed for drives that plug into a SCSI backplane.’
    • ‘The pins in the power cable female connector are not springy enough, and fail to make good contact with the pin in the plug in the appliance.’
    • ‘Mounting it is straight forward and then it's just a simple matter of plugging the 3 - pin fan socket into the motherboard's fan header.’
    • ‘Next to each power input for each port there is an output, again of the 3 pin connector type.’
    • ‘We also can get a look at the three pin fan connections (four total) on the board.’
    • ‘In between the molex convertor and the 3 pin power connector is where the speed controller fits in.’
    • ‘The circuit couples the speaker connection of the first pin to the microphone connection of the second pin.’
    • ‘The cartridge cover also supplies key features that aid in alignment of the pins and a socket.’
    • ‘The position of these upper pins keeps the plug from turning - the pins bind the plug to the housing.’
    • ‘The ports differ in how specific signals are connected to pins on the connector.’
    • ‘In either case, you must ensure that there are no bent connection pins, the unit is plugged in properly, and the IDE cables are in good condition.’
    • ‘The demo board is also equipped with a six pin modular connector to interface directly with the company's MPLAB in-circuit debugger.’
    • ‘Luckily for me I had a three pin connector around from a much older case and was able to make my own adaptor.’
    • ‘The PCI connector includes voltage I / O pins for supplying power to the I / O buffers.’
    • ‘However, the publicity blurb does make clear that Malaysia has three pin electric plugs at 240 volts which is more than Thailand can claim.’
    • ‘Through holes are also provided on the board for user expansion via a 96 pin DIN connector.’
  • 3Golf
    A stick with a flag placed in a hole to mark the hole's position.

    • ‘And as Fred and his three colleagues approached the green, the wind again took hold to blow the flag pin - and the four watched amazed as the ball plopped into the hole.’
    • ‘His third shot out of the sand sees the ball roll 20 feet past the pin but he holes the tricky par putt.’
    • ‘Can you imagine wanting to play golf without greens, targets, pins, or holes.’
    • ‘Daly had an opportunity to force a playoff, but also stroked his four-foot par hole past the pin.’
    • ‘In a round that included three birdies and seven pars, she also claimed near pins on holes eight and fifteen, and the long putt on hole nine.’
  • 4(in bowling) one of a set of bottle-shaped wooden pieces that are arranged in an upright position at the end of a lane in order to be toppled by a rolling ball.

    • ‘A'senti created a very large ball of electricity and sent it over to a throng of guards, laughing as they were knocked down unconscious like bowling pins.’
    • ‘The way every crash of bowling balls and pins made her jump, and caused her eyes to dart about like those of a wary rabbit or a wild mare made him want to take her in his arms and allay all her fears.’
    • ‘He could react to the start signal, bring up the 625, blast six bowling pins off the table, reload, and take two more in under six seconds.’
    • ‘Glass threw a strike on his first ball in the 10th frame and needed only eight pins to take home the trophy.’
    • ‘To help bring much-needed money into the household, the stalwart student set pins at the local bowling alley and poolhall.’
    • ‘She throws a Brunswick Arc but is looking for something reactive, a ball that goes long and hits hard at the pins.’
    • ‘Then again, one morning this week I was walking to the subway and a guy passed by on 3rd Avenue on a unicycle, juggling three bowling pins.’
    • ‘Olivia moved to Azure as Akamaru was about to take the bowling pin and smack Olivia's bowling ball, but lost balance and fell on his face.’
    • ‘You know what this is like, when you're doing you're best material and all you can hear is the sound of bowling pins being knocked over.’
    • ‘It features lights that begin flashing on impact and continue to do so as the ball rolls down the lane and strikes the pins.’
    • ‘Antero bowled a 515 series and Jim Montgomery knocked down 509 pins, both bowling as spares’
    • ‘The Crown suggested it made no sense for Willis, armed only with a bowling pin, to challenge a man with a gun.’
    • ‘He was unable to convert the spare and found himself down by 22 pins after the 1st frame.’
    • ‘In the winter you worked shoveling sidewalks and setting up pins in the bowling alley.’
    • ‘All you need to add are the bowling pins and a bowling ball.’
    • ‘And this idea is related to the ending of the film, where you see the strings that pull on the pins in the bowling alley.’
    • ‘Marvin runs, slipping on a banana peel, crashing into a mound of stacked bowling pins.’
    • ‘Wandering among its pillars, I felt like an ant among the pins of a bowling alley: 134 awesome skittles, each more elaborately decorated than the last.’
    • ‘They have 6 Mexican boys working for the YMCA bowling alley setting pins.’
    • ‘I flew across the country with a bowling pin in my carry on luggage.’
  • 5informal Legs.

    ‘she was very nimble on her pins’
    • ‘Even if you can't sing, can't dance but have a half decent set of pins and can play football, a new reality TV series wants to hear from you.’
    • ‘For those with THE perfect pins, hemlines from micro short and slim fitting will suit individual tastes.’
    • ‘If my auld pins were half a century or so younger, I'd give it a go meself.’
  • 6Chess
    An attack on a piece or pawn, which is thereby pinned.

    ‘the pin of the black queen by the white rook’
    • ‘If Black develops his king bishop outside the pawn chain, he cannot break the pin by normal means.’
    • ‘In order to differentiate between the White and Black pieces, the Black ones have small pins or pips on the top.’
    • ‘Black breaks the pin caused by White's dark-squared Bishop while developing a piece and preparing to castle.’
    • ‘But now White's pieces swarm into the center and the pin on the knight becomes even more serious.’
    • ‘Black still has the pin against the undefended rook on h1, so it becomes a question of whether Black can defend his knight more times than White can attack it.’
  • 7British historical A half-firkin cask for beer.

    • ‘The gas (IN) fitting of a pin-lock-style keg has two pins; the beer fitting has three.’


  • 1Attach or fasten with a pin or pins in a specified position.

    ‘her hair was pinned back’
    ‘pin a note on the door’
    • ‘A bloodstained note left by the couple, which suggested they might be planning to kill themselves, was found pinned to a fence nearby.’
    • ‘Nenine managed to pin one onto her dress and proceeded to fasten another onto a red stole trimmed with gold.’
    • ‘One of the Red Soldiers turned me and pinned a beautiful shining badge onto my left chest.’
    • ‘Tom Crute's ‘Corporate Death Star’ was pinned up near the ceiling and above other works.’
    • ‘In recent years, signs had been pinned to trees saying ‘No Permissive Footpath Exists’, he claimed.’
    • ‘Then he pinned one of the badges to Becki's coat.’
    • ‘Under sunny skies, Chirac pinned Legion of Honour medals on 14 veterans in the pomp-filled ceremony at Arromanches.’
    • ‘She also comments on the amount of pornographic material that was pinned up on inmate's walls, despite the prison having a policy banning it.’
    • ‘One young woman recalled the way her badges had been pinned to her school blazer; another said she'd never forget Leigh's smile.’
    • ‘Her long black hair, having been pinned randomly across her head, and dark eye make-up gave for a very gothic look.’
    • ‘A map of Afghanistan is pinned above the fridge and the names of the provinces and towns trip off Moler's tongue as though they were just across the Mississippi.’
    • ‘ON a recent visit to our daughter in London, she brought home the following which had been pinned on the staff notice board by the head teacher.’
    • ‘By his Glasgow Academy days, he was pinning Labour Party flyers under his blazer and flashing them at fellow pupils.’
    • ‘Attach and pin the pre-curled hair wefts around the base of the ponytail anchoring to the previously placed bobby pins.’
    • ‘Beau studied the handsome silver badge that was pinned inside, and his eyebrows rose.’
    • ‘The gate was just the first step, there are fence rails to be nailed and sheep netting to be pinned before the boys can pack up their belongings and flit.’
    • ‘She has golden blonde hair that is neatly pinned back with a few random strands left on her face as if she is saying that she could be cute without any effort.’
    • ‘Mikey pins a large decorated badge of Jackie Robinson on the Golem, who smiles.’
    • ‘Close by, fields were busy with tractors yesterday, but Peddie had declared his premises a no-go area, pinning a hastily-written ‘Keep Out’ to a tree.’
    attach, fasten, affix, fix, stick, tack, nail, staple, clip, join, link, secure
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    1. 1.1Fix blame or responsibility for something on (someone)
      ‘don't pin the blame on me’
      • ‘Rather than pin the blame on Brown, Murdock claimed the goal should not have stood because of a foul on the teenager.’
      • ‘Gagliano tried to pin the blame on the bureaucrats responsible.’
      • ‘But pinning the blame on any one person or procedure was difficult.’
      • ‘As ever, he will try to pin the blame on his so-called editors and sack them whenever he needs to bolster his macho style of management.’
      • ‘How easy is it to pin the blame on a senior manager when he is 12 steps above anyone who has seen the bolts on the tracks, or the ferry doors?’
      • ‘Actually it was a fun job, and before you go pinning the blame on me for your dinner being interrupted, keep reading.’
      • ‘But when the situation is not clear, it is important to examine both sides before pinning the blame on the doctor.’
      • ‘Warner was able to portray himself as a courageous politician by raising taxes while at the same time pinning the blame on the Republicans.’
      • ‘But, warns Billy Adams in Sydney, it is too easy to pin the blame on arsonists.’
      • ‘The Commission of Inquiry set up to look at the cause of the platform's collapse and the rescue procedures that followed pinned the blame on a hitherto unknown cause, ‘systemic failure’.’
      • ‘In an attempt to shore up his credibility, Chirac tried to distance himself from the referendum debacle by pinning the blame on his prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.’
      • ‘The CIA has tried to wash its hands off the uranium story by pinning the blame on Britain.’
      • ‘Trying to pin the blame on any other individual is a fool's errand.’
      • ‘Even the Tories, desperate to pin the blame on the other lot, have been forced to admit that, yes, it was all their idea in the first place.’
      • ‘In the light of the apparent change in the attitude of Pakistan and certain recent developments, instead of pinning the entire blame on Pakistan, there is need to look within.’
      • ‘By pointing out the discrepancies within my country, I do not seek to pin the blame on any one side.’
      • ‘The latest instalment yesterday saw a carefully orchestrated attempt by Jarvis, the maintenance firm contracted to service the line - and much of Scotland's rail tracks - to pin the blame on a mysterious saboteur.’
      • ‘These qualities can occur in any shape of family and in any kind of childcare, so we shouldn't get caught up in pinning the blame on single parents or working mothers - it's the emotional dynamics which count.’
      • ‘After he is implicated in a tragic accident at work, he goes in search of someone else to pin the blame on.’
      • ‘He doesn't even have the good grace to scam us by finding a scapegoat to pin the blame on.’
      blame something on, lay the blame for something on, attribute something to, impute something to, ascribe something to
      blame someone for something, hold someone responsible for something, lay something at someone's door
      stick something on
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    2. 1.2Hold someone firmly in a specified position so they are unable to move.
      ‘she was standing pinned against the door’
      • ‘Within five moves she was pinned and his blade pressed to her white throat.’
      • ‘At the last moment, he noticed that he was pinned against a hill, but by the time it registered, it was too late.’
      • ‘He groaned and this time, turned me around so that I was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘One pinned the 36-year-old down as the other repeatedly stamped on his leg, York Crown Court heard yesterday.’
      • ‘The child was pinned against a wall by the bike as its rider was thrown into the road at Stoneclough village, near Bolton.’
      • ‘He was pinned against a wall while several girls were trying for his attention.’
      • ‘Inside a small apartment, Adam was pinned against the door with a hand across his mouth.’
      • ‘But the second she let her guard down he turned the tables on her, rolling her over onto her back and pinning her in a move she had taught him only that morning called ‘the lockdown’.’
      • ‘So while I was still pinned against the wall he used his free arm to dig into the jacket.’
      • ‘Anthon moved so fast, Kiki hardly had time to react and when she did, she was pinned against her car with Anthon's hand at her throat.’
      • ‘I tried to ward him off with my arms but I was pinned against the fence.’
      • ‘Kai woke up, he tried moving but something was pinning him on the table that he had slept on, he looked to his right and on his arm was the beautiful Mina.’
      • ‘I growled and turned to strangle his scrawny neck, but I quickly remembered I was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘He rushed forward, ramming his forearm against her collarbone, so that she was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘For the second time in ten minutes I was pinned against a wall.’
      • ‘The employee was pinned against the drum the rope was being wound on, she said.’
      • ‘She wasn't as fast as she thought she was, however, and she made it only two steps before she was pinned against the wall of the stable.’
      • ‘Jason was pinned against a tall oak tree with Nemesis slowly closing in on him.’
      • ‘At hare coursing meetings all over Ireland, hares are still capable of being pinned down, injured and killed by muzzled dogs.’
      • ‘The man, who has not been named, had to be released by firefighters after he was pinned against a fence by the lorry at a Weymouth industrial estate on Wednesday morning.’
      hold, restrain, press, pinion, constrain, hold fast, hold down, immobilize
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    3. 1.3Chess Hinder or prevent (a piece or pawn) from moving because of the danger to a more valuable piece standing behind it along the line of an attack.
      • ‘White Bishop on e2 is pinned to the White King.’
      • ‘Since the black queen is pinned to the black king by the white rook, the queen cannot be moved off the e-file.’


  • (as) neat (or clean) as a pin

    • Extremely neat or clean.

      • ‘He continued to lead the lady past the houses, she counted 15, seven to their right and eight to their left, all were neat as a pin and although mainly small extended a glow from within which felt welcoming to the Lady.’
      • ‘Their mini daytime diner is neat as a pin, but clearly dated.’
      • ‘My house is bursting with love and sunshine, bright and neat as a pin inside, and my husband and I put our feet under our huge dog Ralph to keep warm.’
      • ‘She was neat as a pin - the complete opposite of me - and possessed stunning looks that would make half of the women in the world jealous.’
      • ‘Rancho's digs were neat as a pin, and bleak in that universal laminated, orange-and-yellow franchise mode.’
      • ‘A house that's clean and neat as a pin gives the impression that the property is easy to maintain, while clutter and grime suggest the house lacks storage space and needs a good deal of upkeep.’
      • ‘In this kitchen, the chrome makes the whole stove area look sleek and polished - and where is it more important to have things looking neat as a pin than in the kitchen?’
      • ‘She had taught her son to hate to clutter also, and therefore his room was neat as a pin.’
      • ‘Randall is middle-age, uptight salesman at a conservative clothing store who lives in fear of everything and is neat as a pin.’
      • ‘Welcoming, brightly hued and neat as a pin, with nothing on the menu over $9, family-owned Miguelito's is the kind of unpretentious ethnic spot for which culinary adventurers are always on the lookout.’
  • hear a pin drop

    • Used to describe absolute silence.

      • ‘At one point he says not only can he hear a pin drop but can hear it dropping it through the air.’
      • ‘There was a minute's silence for Paul and you could have heard a pin drop.’
      • ‘And if you can hold eight hundred people in dead silence and hear a pin drop you know something's going right.’
      • ‘That courtroom was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.’
      • ‘Edward, who normally hears a pin drop three miles away, didn't even stir.’
      • ‘I swear you could have heard a pin drop at that moment,’ Kirsten wrote.’
      • ‘You really could have heard a pin drop when O'Rourke sang ‘Marrying the Sea’ practically unaccompanied, apart from the soundtrack of rolling waves.’
      • ‘‘Go back to your rooms’ I said, quietly, but in the silence, you could've heard a pin drop.’
      • ‘She could be dead asleep, but if she hears a pin drop in the hallway, she's up and running to the door, barking like a madman.’
      • ‘While a speaker laid out research evidence of the link between heart disease, stress and long hours, you could have heard a pin drop.’
  • pin one's ears back

    • Listen carefully.

      • ‘It's pinning their ears back, throwing out question after question you know they can't answer correctly and then attacking every single syllable they toss up from their defensive crouch.’
  • pin one's hopes (or faith) on

    • Rely heavily on.

      ‘retailers were pinning their hopes on a big-spending Christmas’
      • ‘When astrophysicist Joseph Smith, Ph.D., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1984, he may have been tempted to pin his hopes on stardust.’
      • ‘Many Hispanics pin hopes on pope's visit.’
      rely on, count on, depend on, place reliance on, lean on, bank on, trust, be sure of, trust in, place one's trust in, have confidence in, have every confidence in, believe in, put one's faith in, swear by, take for granted, take on trust, take as read
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Phrasal Verbs

  • pin someone down

    • 1Restrict the actions or movement of an enemy by firing at them.

      • ‘Growling in rage under her breath, Syd let go of her bad arm and charged toward the enemy, pinning him down.’
      • ‘The terrorists are watchful of your team's movement and hide in effective places to pin you down.’
      • ‘PFC Thompson set up his machine gun in the path of the onslaught and swept the enemy with withering fire, pinning them down momentarily, thus permitting the remainder of his platoon to withdraw to a more tenable position.’
      • ‘If you're not firing, the enemy will fire at you, pinning you down.’
      1. 1.1Force someone to be specific and make their intentions clear.
        • ‘Oh I don't know, Mother, you can't pin these kids down to an exact hour.’
        • ‘It's very hard pinning people down on exactly what they that think is going on and how they feel about it.’
        make someone commit themselves, constrain, force, compel, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, tie down, nail down
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  • pin something down

    • Define something precisely.

      • ‘‘Why do we need to pin it down,’ asked one of the presenters, ‘when its potential is that it is happening all the time?’’
      • ‘Robert Weisbuch's analysis of the poem is the most eloquent argument I've read for refusing to pin the poem down to the kind of allegorical reading I am doing here.’
      • ‘I wish I had access to Lexis-Nexis right now, because I'm sure I could pin this story down if her old columns for the NY Post are up there.’
      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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Late Old English pinn; related to Dutch pin pin, peg from Latin pinna point, tip, edge.




Definition of PIN in English:


(also PIN number)


  • An identifying number allocated to an individual by a bank or other organization and used for validating electronic transactions.


1970s: short for personal identification number.