definitions
  • synonyms

pawn

1
[ pawn ]
/ pɔn /
||
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When you call another person a "pawn," is it an insult ... or a compliment?

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verb (used with object)

to deposit as security, as for money borrowed, especially with a pawnbroker: He raised the money by pawning his watch.
to pledge; stake; risk: to pawn one's life.

noun

the state of being deposited or held as security, especially with or by a pawnbroker: jewels in pawn.
something given or deposited as security, as for money borrowed.
a person serving as security; hostage.
the act of pawning.

RELATED WORDS

dupe, puppet, stooge, patsy, collateral, pledge, gambit, forfeit, guaranty, earnest, token, security, bond, warrant, assurance, guarantee, gage, toy, sucker, tool

Nearby words

pavor nocturnus, pavé, paw, pawky, pawl, pawn, pawn off, pawn ticket, pawnage, pawnbroker, pawnbroking

Origin of pawn

1
1490–1500; (noun) < Middle French pan; Old French pan(d), pant, apparently < West Germanic; compare Old Frisian pand, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch pant, German Pfand; (v.) derivative of the noun
SYNONYMS FOR pawn
Related formspawn·a·ble, adjectivepawn·er [paw-ner] /ˈpɔ nər/, paw·nor [paw-ner, -nawr] /ˈpɔ nər, -nɔr/, nounun·pawned, adjective

Definition for pawn (2 of 2)

pawn

2
[ pawn ]
/ pɔn /

noun

Chess. one of eight men of one color and of the lowest value, usually moved one square at a time vertically and capturing diagonally.
someone who is used or manipulated to further another person's purposes.

Origin of pawn

2
1325–75; Middle English poun < Anglo-French, equivalent to Middle French poon, variant of paon, earlier pe(h)on literally, walker; see peon1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pawn

British Dictionary definitions for pawn (1 of 2)

pawn

1
/ (pɔːn) /

verb (tr)

to deposit (an article) as security for the repayment of a loan, esp from a pawnbroker
to staketo pawn one's honour

noun

an article deposited as security
the condition of being so deposited (esp in the phrase in pawn)
a person or thing that is held as a security, esp a hostage
the act of pawning
Derived Formspawnage, noun

Word Origin for pawn

C15: from Old French pan security, from Latin pannus cloth, apparently because clothing was often left as a surety; compare Middle Flemish paen pawn, German Pfand pledge

British Dictionary definitions for pawn (2 of 2)

pawn

2
/ (pɔːn) /

noun

a chessman of the lowest theoretical value, limited to forward moves of one square at a time with the option of two squares on its initial move: it captures with a diagonal move onlyAbbreviation: P Compare piece (def. 12)
a person, group, etc, manipulated by another

Word Origin for pawn

C14: from Anglo-Norman poun, from Old French pehon, from Medieval Latin pedō infantryman, from Latin pēs foot
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