kingpin

[ king-pin ]
/ ˈkɪŋˌpɪn /

noun

Bowling.
  1. headpin.
  2. the pin at the center; the number five pin.
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.

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Origin of kingpin

First recorded in 1795–1805; king + pin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for kingpin

British Dictionary definitions for kingpin

kingpin
/ (ˈkɪŋˌpɪn) /

noun

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
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