- a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.
- one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress: pioneers in cancer research.
- one of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads, dig intrenchments, etc., in advance of the main body.
- Ecology. an organism that successfully establishes itself in a barren area, thus starting an ecological cycle of life.
- (initial capital letter) Aerospace. one of a series of U.S. space probes that explored the solar system and transmitted scientific information to earth.
- (initial capital letter) (formerly) a member of a Communist organization in the Soviet Union for children ranging in age from 10 to 16.Compare Komsomol, Octobrist.
- to act as a pioneer.
- to be the first to open or prepare (a way, settlement, etc.).
- to take part in the beginnings of; initiate: to pioneer an aid program.
- to lead the way for (a group); guide.
- being the earliest, original, first of a particular kind, etc.: a pioneer method of adult education.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of pioneers: pioneer justice.
- being a pioneer: a pioneer fur trader.
Origin of pioneer
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- a historical novel (1823) by James Fenimore Cooper.
Related Wordspilgrim, founder, settler, colonist, immigrant, scout, explorer, guide, developer, squatter, leader, innovator, pathfinder, homesteader, trailblazer, colonizer, begin, develop, prepare, start
Examples from the Web for pioneers
We worked in the cultural arena instead, with pioneers like Ellen and Will & Grace.Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had
November 30, 2014
In many ways, Kansas City is a leaving town, a place for pioneers and rovers with an eye on the distant horizon.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
As pioneers of experiential art, the duo wanted to blur the lines between reality and cartoonish fantasy.New York City’s New Mystery Art Piece
September 22, 2014
When the pioneers reached Toledo it was called “Frogtown” because the place was a swamp.Toledo: The Town Too Tough for Toxic Water
P. J. O’Rourke
August 4, 2014
In a TED talk she delivered this year, Patton said that the general was the grandson of early California pioneers.The Price of Being a Patton: Wrestling With the Legacy of America’s Most Famous General
May 26, 2014
When the pioneers have accomplished their task, the rest can follow.
The pioneers were well aware of this before they left the Old World.
Every talent only pioneers the way for the richer talents which are born from it.
We are the pioneers, the vanguard, the riskers full of faith and hope.Fruitfulness
The American pioneers had only a sickle or a scythe with which to cut their grain.The Age of Invention
- a colonist, explorer, or settler of a new land, region, etc
- (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
- 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)
Word Origin and History for pioneers
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.