[ pin-is ]
/ ˈpɪn ɪs /


a light sailing ship, especially one formerly used in attendance on a larger ship.
any of various kinds of ship's boats.
a small 17th-century ship having two or three masts and a flat stern, used in northern Europe as a warship and merchant ship and as a tender.

Nearby words

  1. pinkroot,
  2. pinkster,
  3. pinky,
  4. pinky bar,
  5. pinna,
  6. pinnacle,
  7. pinnae,
  8. pinnate,
  9. pinnately,
  10. pinnati-

Origin of pinnace

1540–50; < Middle French pinace < Old Spanish pinaza literally, something made of pino pine1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pinnace

British Dictionary definitions for pinnace


/ (ˈpɪnɪs) /


any of various kinds of ship's tender

Word Origin for pinnace

C16: from French pinace, apparently from Old Spanish pinaza, literally: something made of pine, ultimately from Latin pīnus pine

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 pinnace



small, light vessel, 1540s, from Middle French pinace (earlier spinace, 15c., from Old French espinace, Modern French péniche; also attested as Anglo-Latin spinachium (mid-14c.)); of unknown origin. The French word perhaps is from Italian pinaccia or Spanish pinaza, from pino "pine tree; ship" (Latin pinus "pine tree" also had a secondary sense of "ship, vessel"). But variations in early forms makes this uncertain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper