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See more synonyms for ninepins on Thesaurus.com
  1. (used with a singular verb) tenpins played without the head pin.
  2. ninepin, a pin used in this game.
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Origin of ninepins

1570–80; nine + pins
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ninepins

skittles, ninepins, candlepins, kegling

Examples from the Web for ninepins

Historical Examples of ninepins

  • Treat men as pawns and ninepins and you shall suffer as well as they.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Margaret hunted about in the attic, and found a box of ninepins.

    Margaret Montfort

    Laura E. Richards

  • Peter was silently appointed to set up the ninepins for them.

  • The Indians fell like ninepins, but there were always more to come on.

  • Had any one had the courage to do so, they would have gone down like a row of ninepins.

British Dictionary definitions for ninepins


  1. (functioning as singular) another name for skittlesSee skittle (def. 2)
  2. (singular) one of the pins used in this game
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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 ninepins


1570s, from nine + pin (n.). From the number of pins to be knocked down.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper