[pin-yuh n]


verb (used with object)

Origin of pinion

1400–50; late Middle English pynyon < Middle French pignon wing, pinion < Vulgar Latin *pinniōn (stem of pinniō), derivative of Latin pinna feather, wing, fin
Related formsun·pin·ioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pinioned

Contemporary Examples of pinioned

Historical Examples of pinioned

  • He felt the paper thrust into his hands, reached for her wrists, and pinioned them.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Unarmed and taken at a vantage, I was struck down and pinioned in a moment.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Responsive to that gesture, Gonzaga faced the pinioned captain truculently.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • The same tentacle, assisted by a new one, pinioned his shoulders.

    Acid Bath

    Vaseleos Garson

  • Then as it descended between his legs he found one of them pinioned.

    The Plunderer

    Roy Norton

British Dictionary definitions for pinioned




mainly poetic a bird's wing
the part of a bird's wing including the flight feathers

verb (tr)

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

C15: from Old French pignon wing, from Latin pinna wing




a cogwheel that engages with a larger wheel or rack, which it drives or by which it is driven

Word Origin for pinion

C17: from French pignon cogwheel, from Old French peigne comb, from Latin pecten comb; see pecten
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 pinioned



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper