[ king-pin ]
See synonyms for kingpin on
  1. Bowling.

  2. Informal. the person of chief importance in a corporation, movement, undertaking, etc.

  1. Informal. the chief element of any system, plan, or the like.

  2. a kingbolt.

  3. either of the pins that are a part of the mechanism for turning the front wheels in some automotive steering systems.

Origin of kingpin

First recorded in 1795–1805; king + pin

Words Nearby kingpin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kingpin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kingpin


/ (ˈkɪŋˌpɪn) /

  1. the most important person in an organization

  2. the crucial or most important feature of a theory, argument, etc

  1. 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

  2. tenpin bowling the front pin in the triangular arrangement of the ten pins

  3. (in ninepins) the central pin in the diamond pattern of the nine pins

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