- a gear with a small number of teeth, especially one engaging with a rack or larger gear.
- a shaft or spindle cut with teeth engaging with a gear.
- Metalworking. a gear driving a roll in a rolling mill.
Origin of pinion1
- the distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges.
- the wing of a bird.
- a feather.
- the flight feathers collectively.
- to cut off the pinion of (a wing) or bind (the wings), as in order to prevent a bird from flying.
- to disable or restrain (a bird) in such a manner.
- to bind (a person's arms or hands) so they cannot be used.
- to disable (someone) in such a manner; shackle.
- to bind or hold fast, as to a thing: to be pinioned to one's bad habits.
Origin of pinion2
Related Words for pinionwheel, leg, extremity, stem, arm, branch, wing, embargo, restriction, constraint, prohibition, reduction, limit, ban, curb, prong, plume, fringe, fasten, fix
Examples from the Web for pinion
Historical Examples of pinion
It is only a short essay, just to try the strength of my Muse's pinion in that way.The Letters of Robert Burns
Take your kerchief, Kenneth, and pinion his wrists behind him.The Tavern Knight
In the latter case, the small one is the pinion, and the larger one the spur wheel.
Now a spur gear, as well as a pinion, has three diameters; one measurep.
The father throws the pinion into the fire, and the eagle appears.The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria
- mainly poetic a bird's wing
- the part of a bird's wing including the flight feathers
- to hold or bind (the arms) of (a person) so as to restrain or immobilize him
- to confine or shackle
- to make (a bird) incapable of flight by removing that part of (the wing) from which the flight feathers grow
Word Origin for pinion
- a cogwheel that engages with a larger wheel or rack, which it drives or by which it is driven
Word Origin for pinion
Word Origin and History for pinion
"wing joint, segment of a bird's wing," mid-15c., from Old French pignon "wing-feather, wing, pinion" (c.1400), from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem (nominative *pinnio), augmentative of Latin pinna "wing" (see pin (n.)).
"small wheel with teeth to gear with a larger one" (as in rack and pinion), 1650s, from French pignon "pinion" (16c.), literally "gable," from Old French pignon "pointed gable, summit," from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem, augmentative of Latin pinna "battlement, pinnacle" (see pin (n.)).
"disable by binding the arms," 1550s, older in English than literal sense "cut or bind the pinions (of a bird's wing) to prevent flying" (1570s); from pinion (n.1). Related: Pinioned.