- Informal. the person of chief importance in a corporation, movement, undertaking, etc.
- Informal. the chief element of any system, plan, or the like.
- a kingbolt.
- either of the pins that are a part of the mechanism for turning the front wheels in some automotive steering systems.
Origin of kingpin
Related Words for kingpinfulcrum, judge, law, expert, administrator, ruler, head, director, chief, officer, captain, commandant, supervisor, producer, executive, player, organizer, leader, principal, firm
Examples from the Web for kingpin
Contemporary Examples of kingpin
Albert Grossman was only 31 at the time, but already a kingpin in folk.
This arrest shows the Peña Nieto administration is at least intent on continuing the kingpin strategy.Miguel Angel Trevino Morales’s Legacy on Mexico’s Drug War
Scott C. Johnson
July 17, 2013
Historical Examples of kingpin
He said he was the kingpin of the tooth-pullers, and I believe he was.Mind and Body
William Walker Atkinson
You are to be a kingpin witness in my case against two pickpockets.The Arrow of Fire
Roy J. Snell
But there's another day, and the kingpin and I may yet lock horns.Our Young Aeroplane Scouts in Germany
On every block he met acquaintances who had even toasted him—with his own wine; toasted him as the kingpin.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
I just went out and sent that whole moving picture outfit reeling, Kingpin and all!The Shriek
- the most important person in an organization
- the crucial or most important feature of a theory, argument, etc
- Also called (Brit): swivel pin a pivot pin that provides a steering joint in a motor vehicle by securing the stub axle to the axle beam
- tenpin bowling the front pin in the triangular arrangement of the ten pins
- (in ninepins) the central pin in the diamond pattern of the nine pins
Word Origin and History for kingpin
also king-pin, 1801 as the name of the large pin in the game of kayles (similar to bowls except a club or stick was thrown instead of a ball; cf. "Games, Gaming and Gamesters' Laws," Frederick Brandt, London, 1871), from king with a sense of "chief" + pin (n.). The modern use is mainly figurative and is perhaps from the word's use as another name for the king-bolt (itself from 1825) in a machinery, though the figurative use is attested earlier (1867) than the literal.