pin down

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verb (tr, adverb)
to force (someone) to make a decision or carry out a promise
to define clearlyhe had a vague suspicion that he couldn't quite pin down
to confine to a placethe fallen tree pinned him down
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
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

How to use pin down in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with pin down

pin down


Fix or establish clearly, as in The firefighters finally were able to pin down the source of the odor. [Mid-1900s]


Force someone to give precise information or opinions, as in The reporter pinned down the governor on the issue of conservation measures. [c. 1700]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.