lynchpin

[ linch-pin ]
/ ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn /

noun

Words nearby lynchpin

Definition for lynchpin (2 of 2)

linchpin

or lynch·pin

[ linch-pin ]
/ ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn /

noun

a pin inserted through the end of an axletree to keep the wheel on.
something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together: The monarchy was the linchpin of the nation's traditions and society.

Origin of linchpin

1350–1400; unexplained alteration of Middle English lynspin, equivalent to lyns, Old English lynis axle-pin (cognate with German Lünse) + pin pin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for lynchpin (1 of 2)

lynchpin
/ (ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn) /

noun

a variant spelling of linchpin

British Dictionary definitions for lynchpin (2 of 2)

linchpin

lynchpin

/ (ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn) /

noun

a pin placed transversely through an axle to keep a wheel in position
a person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating elementthe linchpin of the company

Word Origin for linchpin

C14 lynspin, from Old English lynis
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