(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 tenpins

Historical Examples of tenpins

  • Kerk walked into them without slowing and they bounced away like tenpins.


    Harry Harrison

  • The table caught them like a pair of tenpins and knocked them into the corner.

  • He ran into the line raging and upset it like a row of tenpins.


    Philip Wylie

  • He relentlessly cut them down one after another like tenpins.

    Dave Dawson at Truk

    Robert Sydney Bowen

  • Ride a horse or a bicycle; play tennis or tenpins, or toss a ball.

    The Science of Being Well

    Wallace Delois Wattles

British Dictionary definitions for 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