Definition of pivot word in US English:

pivot word


  • 1A word crucial to the meaning or structure of a sentence, paragraph, etc.

  • 2The word on which a pivot-pun turns.

  • 3Linguistics. Any of a set of words used at an early stage of a child's acquisition of language as central items to which other words are attached.


Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From pivot + word.


pivot word

/ˈpɪvət ˌwəːd/