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pinprick

[pin-prik]
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noun
  1. any minute puncture made by a pin or the like.
  2. a negligible irritation or annoyance.

Origin of pinprick

First recorded in 1745–55; pin + prick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for pinprick

pinprick

noun
  1. a slight puncture made by or as if by a pin
  2. a small irritation
verb
  1. (tr) 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

Word Origin and History for pinprick

n.

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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