Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


These I pinned, as a lawful prize, being in an enemy's country.

He had wrapped it hastily in a piece of paper, and pinned it to the leaf.

Her hands were quivering as she pinned back the hair which had slid down her neck.

This is cut from two small pieces of 3/16-inch stuff, glued and pinned in place.

Then back I came and pinned this out upon the lodging-house table.

I copied it out, and pinned it on one side of my mantel-piece.

He pinned me up against the side of the vessel, and held me there.

He wriggled and fought, but he was pinned and helpless, hands, feet and vocal organs.

I sought to pull my arm from his, but he dung to it and pinned it to his side.

Night soon drew her sable curtains, and pinned them with a star.


late Old English pinn "peg, bolt," from Proto-Germanic *penn- "jutting point or peak" (cf. Old Saxon pin "peg," Old Norse pinni "peg, tack," Middle Dutch pin "pin, peg," Old High German pfinn, German Pinne "pin, tack") from Latin pinna "a feather, plume;" in plural "a wing;" also "fin, scoop of a water wheel;" also "a pinnacle; a promontory, cape; battlement" (e.g. in Luke iv:9 in Vulgate) and so applied to "points" of various sorts, from PIE *pet- (see pen (n.1)).

Latin pinna and penna "a feather, plume," in plural "a wing," are treated as identical in Watkins, etc., but regarded as separate (but confused) Latin words by Tucker and others, who derive pinna from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (cf. spike (n.1)) and see the "feather/wing" sense as secondary.

The modern slender wire pin is first attested by this name late 14c. Transferred sense of "leg" is recorded from 1520s and hold the older sense. Pin-money "annual sum allotted to a woman for personal expenses on dress, etc." is attested from 1620s. Pins and needles "tingling sensation" is from 1810. The sound of a pin dropping as a type of something all but silent is from 1775.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.