Origin of pioneer

1515–25; < Middle French pionier, Old French peonier foot soldier. See peon1, -eer
Related formsun·pi·o·neer·ing, adjective

Synonyms for pioneer

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

Examples from the Web for pioneered

Contemporary Examples of pioneered

Historical Examples of pioneered

  • He pioneered the ancestors of almost every family in this vicinage to this place.

  • We were met by others who had pioneered the way before us and they looked after our group until we learned the ropes.

    In the Cards

    Alan Cogan

  • Soon, all—gendarmes and light horse—Huguenots and Catholics—rushed along the road, pioneered by the two brothers.

  • Learning from a trader of the game and rich pastures of Kentucky, he pioneered the way for the farmers to that region.

    The Frontier in American History

    Frederick Jackson Turner

  • And now she was following along a track, pioneered by a clever and cunning leader.

    December Love

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for pioneered



  1. a colonist, explorer, or settler of a new land, region, etc
  2. (as modifier)a pioneer wagon
an innovator or developer of something new
military a member of an infantry group that digs entrenchments, makes roads, etc
ecology the first species of plant or animal to colonize an area of bare ground


to be a pioneer (in or of)
(tr) to initiate, prepare, or open upto pioneer a medical programme

Word Origin for pioneer

C16: from Old French paonier infantryman, from paon pawn ²; see also peon 1




a total abstainer from alcoholic drink, esp a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a society devoted to abstention




any of a series of US spacecraft that studied the solar system, esp Pioneer 10, which made the first flyby of Jupiter (1973), and Pioneer 11, which made the first flyby of Saturn (1979)
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 pioneered



1520s, "foot soldier who prepares the way for the army," from Middle French pionnier "foot-soldier, pioneer," from Old French paonier "foot-soldier" (11c.), from peon (see pawn (n.2)). Figurative sense of "person who goes first or does something first" is from c.1600. Related: Pioneers.



1780, from pioneer (n.). Related: Pioneered; pioneering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper