Last modified on 3 May 2014, at 12:25

linchpin

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Middle English lynspin, compound of lins 'axletree' and pin, from Old English lynis 'linchpin', from Proto-Germanic *luniso (compare German Lünse), from Proto-Indo-European (compare Welsh olwyn (wheel), Old Armenian ողն (ołn, back; spine, backbone), Sanskrit [script needed] (āṇís)). Figurative use attested from the mid-20th century.

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

linchpin (plural linchpins)

  1. a pin inserted through holes at the end of an axle, so as to secure a wheel
  2. (figuratively) a central cohesive source of stability and security; a person or thing that is critical to a system or organisation.

TranslationsEdit