Definition of safety pin in US English:

safety pin


  • A pin with a point that is bent back to the head and is held in a guard when closed.

    • ‘I got out the rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, band aids and a safety pin.’
    • ‘Picasso was 54 years old, dressed in an old suit, baggy trousers, beret and long scarf, his keys fastened to his belt and his money fastened inside his jacket pocket with a safety pin.’
    • ‘His empty left trouser leg was folded up and fastened with a large safety pin to his belt.’
    • ‘Along with a nose ring and a pierced tongue, Danya sports a purple safety pin in her right eyebrow - a piercing she did with the help of her boyfriend at home.’
    • ‘Firstly, some punk graphic clichés, such as the safety pin or the swastika, were pretty much redundant by this stage when it comes to artwork on record sleeves and fanzines.’
    • ‘Mostly Rae scratched the artwork onto stencils with a safety pin: hilariously inept drawings of pigs wearing cowboy guns and police hats and Nazi insignia.’
    • ‘Then, a small, colored tag is affixed to each piece of clothing with a safety pin or staple, and this tag remains attached to the clothing during the entire dry-cleaning cycle.’
    • ‘The police investigation into reports of a man entering three residences in Niverville on Sept. 19 reveals the man was merely looking for a safety pin to repair his pants.’
    • ‘One girl used a safety pin to keep her attackers at bay.’
    • ‘‘He used to hold a block of ice to your ear until it was numb, then pierce it with a sterilised safety pin,’ Tim recalls.’
    • ‘He's slumped on the sofa, the lithe body swamped by a shapeless and shabby burgundy cardigan held together with a giant safety pin.’
    • ‘The safety pin was patented by Walter Hunt of New York - he made it in only three hours and later sold the rights for 400 to pay debts.’
    • ‘Beneath the overalls I wore dungarees, a working shirt and a hand-knitted pullover and then an ordinary jacket with a big safety pin to fasten the lapels.’
    • ‘The tails were pinned on, so if we stepped on them the safety pin would pop open and poke you in the butt.’
    • ‘I would get people coming in wanting to buy everything from a turkey to a safety pin.’
    • ‘My number 56 was stapled to my t-shirt since there was not a safety pin to be found in our house.’
    • ‘For the 2000 Convention in Minneapolis, the staff obviously heard my 1993 pleas and switched from the ‘open’ pin to the safety pin.’
    • ‘Stopped at a security check at the San Francisco airport by three fatigues-wearing guards concerned about a safety pin she was wearing on her sweater, Doyle was delayed for a while.’
    • ‘One day last week, I was a model for a theatre make-up student who gave me a black eye, a bullet hole in my head, and a safety pin through the top my hand.’
    • ‘When Avril sticks a safety pin through her ear, pogo-dances all night and throws up seven beers and a handful of uppers in the gutter outside the club, then she's got a down payment on punk.’
    tack, nail, staple, skewer, spike, brad, fastener
    View synonyms


[with object]safety-pin
  • Fasten with a safety pin.

    • ‘Keep the tablecloth there by wrapping a swath of gold lame around your waist and safety-pinning it.’
    • ‘In fact, she says she safety-pinned the top of her jeans before going on her first date, in case her boyfriend got ideas.’
    • ‘Maybe you could deck out more conservatively on school days, and don the combat boots and safety-pinned mini-kilt on weekends only.’
    • ‘Three wise woodland animals - a rabbit with a Mohican, a dreadlocked owl and a purple donkey with his tail safety-pinned to his backside - are debating important issues.’
    • ‘Dohshi #8 wears a ragged dress, safety-pinned at the neck.’
    • ‘Skinny actresses like Nicole Kidman are constantly abhorred, yet clothes have to be safety-pinned to shop window mannequins because they've been designed with Barbie doll proportions.’
    • ‘You can also safety-pin ribbons to the umbrella at rib ends.’
    • ‘Eeyoreful, a purple donkey with his tail safety-pinned to his backside, comes out of some trees.’
    • ‘He was a grade A bimbo; judging from the tattered patches safety-pinned to his health hazard of a school bag, he didn't seem to know that Green Day and Good Charlotte and Billy Talent weren't real punk.’
    • ‘Of course he didn't let go, and he not-so-discreetly grabbed the hem of my skirt and safety-pinned it to his pants as soon as we sat down.’
    • ‘Had we tried this last winter, I'm certain the bank would have safety-pinned our mittens to our coats.’


safety pin

/ˈseɪfti ˌpɪn//ˈsāftē ˌpin/