- to deposit as security, as for money borrowed, especially with a pawnbroker: He raised the money by pawning his watch.
- to pledge; stake; risk: to pawn one's life.
- the state of being deposited or held as security, especially with or by a pawnbroker: jewels in pawn.
- something given or deposited as security, as for money borrowed.
- a person serving as security; hostage.
- the act of pawning.
Origin of pawn1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pawning
It doesn't do to talk of pawning things—not respectable, eh—eh.The Opal Serpent
This is the third Brandenburg pawning: let us hope there may be a fourth and last.
The pawning of part of the cargo to get money for the payment of the duty on the remainder.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
By pawning some of his clothes and making other sacrifices he was able to get them off.Charles Frohman: Manager and Man
Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
The conditions of the country suggest a reason for the pawning of wives.Castes and Tribes of Southern India
- to deposit (an article) as security for the repayment of a loan, esp from a pawnbroker
- to staketo pawn one's honour
- an article deposited as security
- the condition of being so deposited (esp in the phrase in pawn)
- a person or thing that is held as a security, esp a hostage
- the act of pawning
- a chessman of the lowest theoretical value, limited to forward moves of one square at a time with the option of two squares on its initial move: it captures with a diagonal move onlyAbbreviation: P Compare piece (def. 12)
- a person, group, etc, manipulated by another
Word Origin and History for pawning
"something left as security," late 15c. (mid-12c. as Anglo-Latin pandum), from Old French pan, pant "pledge, security," also "booty, plunder," perhaps from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German pfant, German Pfand, Middle Dutch pant, Old Frisian pand "pledge"), from West Germanic *panda, of unknown origin.
The Old French word is identical to pan "cloth, piece of cloth," from Latin pannum (nominative pannus) "cloth, piece of cloth, garment" and Klein's sources feel this is the source of both the Old French and West Germanic words (perhaps on the notion of cloth used as a medium of exchange).
lowly chess piece, late 14c., from Anglo-French poun, Old French peon, earlier pehon, from Medieval Latin pedonem "foot soldier," from Late Latin pedonem (nominative pedo) "one going on foot," from Latin pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). The chess sense was in Old French by 13c. Figurative use, of persons, is from 1580s.
"to give (something) as security in exchange for," 1560s, from pawn (n.1). Related: Pawned; pawning.