See also: Pinion

English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪnjən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪnjən
  • Hyphenation: pin‧ion

Alternative forms edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Old French pignon, from Latin penna (feather).

Noun edit

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. A wing.
  2. (ornithology) The joint of a bird's wing farthest from the body.
  3. (ornithology) Any of the outermost primary feathers on a bird's wing.
  4. A moth of the genus Lithophane.

Verb edit

pinion (third-person singular simple present pinions, present participle pinioning, simple past and past participle pinioned) (transitive)

  1. To cut off the pinion of a bird’s wing, or otherwise disable or bind its wings, in order to prevent it from flying.
    • 1577, Konrad Heresbach, translated by Barnabe Googe, Foure Bookes of Husbandrie, book iv (1586), page 169:
      They that meane to fatte Pigions…some…do softly tie their Legges:…some vse onely to pinion them.
    • 1641–2, Henry Best (author), Donald Woodward (editor), The Farming and Memorandum Books of Henry Best of Elmswell, 1642: With a Glossary and Linguistic Commentary by Peter McClure, Oxford University Press/British Academy (1984), →ISBN (10), →ISBN (13), page 115:
      When they are aboute fortnights olde (for they must bee driven noe longer) yow must watch where the henne useth to sitte on nights, and come when it beginneth to bee darke and throwe somethinge over the henne as shee broodeth them, then take and clippe every of theire right wings. Then when they are aboute moneths old, yow must come after the same manner and pinnion or cutte a joynte of every of theire right winges.
    • ibidem, page 129:
      The Swanners gette up the younge swannes about midsummer [24 June] and footemarke them for the owners, and then doe they allsoe pinnion them, cuttinge a joynte of theire right winges, and then att Michaellmasse [29 Sept.] doe they bringe them hoame, or else bringe hoame some, and leave the rest att some of the mills and wee sende for them.
    • 1665–1667, Abraham Cowley, The Works of Mr Abraham Cowley (fifth edition, 1678), “Several Diſcourſes by way of Eſſays, in Verſe and Proſe”, essay 9: ‘The ſhortneſs of Life and uncertainty of Riches’, closing verses, verse 3 (page 138):
      Suppoſe, thou Fortune could to tameneſs bring, / And clip or pinion her wing; / Suppoſe thou could’ſt on Fate ſo far prevail / As not to cut off thy Entail.
    • 1727, Peter Longueville, Philip Quarll, published 1816, page 67:
      The two old ducks…being pinioned, could not fly away.
    • 1849, Daniel Jay Browne, The American Poultry Yard, published 1855, page 242:
      They…should have been pinioned at the first joint of the wing.
  2. To bind the arms of someone, so as to deprive him of their use; to disable by so binding.
    Synonym: shackle
    • 1904–1905, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], “The Fate of the Artemis”, in The Case of Miss Elliott, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin, published 1905, →OCLC; republished as popular edition, London: Greening & Co., 1909, OCLC 11192831, quoted in The Case of Miss Elliott (ebook no. 2000141h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg of Australia, February 2020:
      [] Captain Markam had been found lying half-insensible, gagged and bound, on the floor of the sitting-room, his hands and feet tightly pinioned, and a woollen comforter wound closely round his mouth and neck ; whilst Mrs. Markham's jewel-case, containing valuable jewellery and the secret plans of Port Arthur, had disappeared. []
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, edited by Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 168:
      Pinioning its extremities with the edge of the towel, she crushed off its offensive and defensive weapons with a splinter from the wall. The blowfly was her next victim, but an unexciting one.
    • 1916, James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Macmillan Press Ltd, paperback, page 80:
      Nash pinioned his arms behind while Boland seized a long cabbage stump which was lying in the gutter.
    • 1996, David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest [], Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y.: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 12:
      Both my arms are pinioned from behind by the Director of Comp., who wrestles me roughly down, on me with all his weight. I taste floor.
  3. (transferred sense, figurative) To restrain; to limit.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

pinion and annular gear

Borrowed from French pignon.

Noun edit

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. (mechanical engineering) The smallest gear in a gear train.
    • 1844, Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial
      A certain period elapses, and some unseen mysterious principle again sets in motion the magic pinions and the wizard wheels.
    • 1898, Alexander Schwalbach, Julius Wilcox, “The Chainless Wheel”, in The Modern bicycle and its accessories; a complete reference book for rider, dealer, and maker, New York: The Commercial advertiser association, page 10:
      The usual front sprocket has teeth, which which mesh into a pinion on a shaft that carries power to the wheel through a pair of pinions at the rear.
    • 2003, Spiral Bevel Pinion Crack Detection in a Helicopter Gearbox, page 5:
      The spiral bevel pinion has 19 teeth, a diametral pitch of 6.940 teeth/inch, a face width of 1.28 inch, a bevel angle of 15 degrees 16 minutes, and a spiral angle of 30 degrees left hand, clockwise.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Further reading edit

References edit

Chuukese edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English billion.

Numeral edit


  1. billion

Romanian edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French pignon.

Noun edit

pinion n (plural pinioane)

  1. gearwheel

Declension edit