verb (used with object), safe·ty-pinned, safe·ty-pin·ning.

to secure or affix with a safety pin: to safety-pin a child's mittens to his coat sleeve.

Origin of safety-pin

First recorded in 1915–20

safety pin


a pin bent back on itself to form a spring, with a guard to cover the point.

Origin of safety pin

First recorded in 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for safety-pin

Contemporary Examples of safety-pin

Historical Examples of safety-pin

  • He fastens his collar with a safety-pin, humming an old song the while.

    They and I

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • Or, if it didn't, where was that safety-pin that was on her dressing-table yesterday?

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

  • Maybe he would be wearing an old coat pinned with a safety-pin.

    Beatrice Leigh at College

    Julia Augusta Schwartz

  • Of the brooch and its connection with the safety-pin we have already spoken.

    The Heritage of Dress

    Wilfred Mark Webb

  • The safety-pin is an object which may well occupy our attention for a moment.

    The Heritage of Dress

    Wilfred Mark Webb

British Dictionary definitions for safety-pin

safety pin


a spring wire clasp with a covering catch, made so as to shield the point when closed and to prevent accidental unfastening
another word for pin (def. 9)
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 safety-pin

1857, from safety + pin (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper