(used with a singular verb) a form of bowling, played with ten wooden pins at which a ball is bowled to knock them down.
tenpin, a pin used in this game.

Origin of tenpins

First recorded in 1590–1600; ten + pin + -s3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tenpin

Historical Examples of tenpin

  • "Why, they've put you into a tenpin alley," were his words of greeting.

    The Battle Ground

    Ellen Glasgow

  • Dick had let fly the jagged stone, taking him directly in the forehead and keeling him over like a tenpin.

    The Boy Land Boomer

    Ralph Bonehill

  • He struck Asa Lemm fairly and squarely in the stomach, bowling him over as if he were a tenpin.

  • How he got past Dick never knew, but those watching saw him fiercely bowl over his opponent like a tenpin.

  • The canoe was bowled over like a tenpin, and Ned went head first into the yellow flood.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires

    William Murray Graydon

British Dictionary definitions for tenpin



one of the pins used in tenpin bowlingSee also tenpins



(functioning as singular) a US and Canadian name for tenpin bowling
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