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[pin-prik] /ˈpɪnˌprɪk/
any minute puncture made by a pin or the like.
a negligible irritation or annoyance.
Origin of pinprick
First recorded in 1745-55; pin + prick Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pinprick
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Somehow he felt oddly reluctant to inflict even a pinprick of pain on this particular patient.

    Afterwards Kathlyn Rhodes
  • And now thou art boasting aloud over this pinprick, which harms me not at all.

    Stories from the Iliad H. L. Havell
  • The cavalry horses and transport animals suffered from bursati, and even a pinprick expanded into a large open sore.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • Used as he had become, the past two years, to pinpricks of this sort, his colour betrayed how much the present pinprick hurt him.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • Besides, to shoot a mere amateur in Chouannerie would be as absurd as to fire on a balloon when a pinprick would disinflate it.

    The Chouans Honore de Balzac
  • The offence itself seemed a pinprick beside the rankle of the wound to her pride.

    Rest Harrow Maurice Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for pinprick


a slight puncture made by or as if by a pin
a small irritation
(transitive) to puncture with or as if with a pin
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 pinprick

also pin-prick, 1851, from pin (n.) + prick (n.). Used figuratively of petty irritations from 1885. Earlier pin's prick (1825).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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