verb (used with object), pi·geon·holed, pi·geon·hol·ing.

Origin of pigeonhole

First recorded in 1570–80; pigeon1 + hole

Synonyms for pigeonhole

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pigeonhole

Contemporary Examples of pigeonhole

Historical Examples of pigeonhole

  • He said coolly to the official who aroused him, 'Go to pigeonhole No.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

  • And reaching behind him into a pigeonhole he extracted an envelope, which he passed to me.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • He belongs to no class, evades the label, and fits into no pigeonhole.

  • I could make a square or pigeonhole corner or lay out a brick footing.

    One Way Out

    William Carleton

  • But he went to his desk, and drew a long sheet of paper from a pigeonhole.

    The Crisis, Complete

    Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for pigeonhole



a small compartment for papers, letters, etc, as in a bureau
a hole or recess in a dovecote for pigeons to nest in
informal a category or classification

verb (tr)

to put aside or defer
to classify or categorize, esp in a rigid manner
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