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[nahyn-pinz] /ˈnaɪnˌpɪnz/
(used with a singular verb) tenpins played without the head pin.
ninepin, a pin used in this game.
Origin of ninepins
1570-80; nine + pins Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ninepins
Historical Examples
  • Treat men as pawns and ninepins and you shall suffer as well as they.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Margaret hunted about in the attic, and found a box of ninepins.

    Margaret Montfort Laura E. Richards
  • Peter was silently appointed to set up the ninepins for them.

  • The Indians fell like ninepins, but there were always more to come on.

    The Watchers of the Plains

    Ridgewell Cullum
  • Had any one had the courage to do so, they would have gone down like a row of ninepins.

    The Cock-House at Fellsgarth Talbot Baines Reed
  • So thought not the City Guard, four of whom went down like ninepins.

    Hunted and Harried R.M. Ballantyne
  • What a shindy you have made, bowling us all down like ninepins!

    Jacob Faithful Captain Frederick Marryat
  • You will find no playing at bowls or ninepins here, as you probably imagine.

    The Robbers Friedrich Schiller
  • Treat men as pawns and ninepins, and you shall suffer as well as they.

    Discourses in America Matthew Arnold
  • But our fire was too much for them; they fell like a row of ninepins.

    Human Bullets Tadayoshi Sakurai
British Dictionary definitions for ninepins


(functioning as sing) another name for skittles See skittle (sense 2)
(sing) one of the pins used in this game
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ninepins

1570s, from nine + pin (n.). From the number of pins to be knocked down.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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