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One of the earliest human artifacts, pins were at first made of thorns, bone, or wood and were used as clothing fasteners, hairpins, and meat skewers. These long, single-shaft pins were early imitated in metal and were often tipped with ornamental knobs. The fibulae, prototype of the safety pin and probably one of the earliest applications of the spring coil, was popular from early antiquity through medieval times. It was the forerunner of the modern brooch through the hinged pin, which was developed by the Romans. Bent-wire hairpins are believed to have originated in England in the 16th cent.; the modern bobby pin was introduced in the 20th cent. In the 14th and 15th cent. in England the costliness and scarcity of plain pins caused Parliament to limit their sale to the first two days of January, for which women saved money all year—hence the term "pin money." In the 19th cent., with the fashion for enormous hats came the development of ornate jeweled hatpins.


A peg or bolt of wood, metal, or any other material used to fasten or hold something in place, or serve as a point of support.



a cylindrical or tapered rod that is used to join parts together, often in a precisely determined position, or to transfer relatively small loads. Pins are employed in fixed joints. In order to insert a pin, the parts are joined together and secured. A hole is then drilled and reamed at the location in the parts where the pin is to be inserted. In contrast to a cylindrical pin, a taper pin may be used repeatedly without reducing the precision with which the parts are positioned.

What does it mean when you dream about a pin?

A pin might have several meanings. Pins are small tools that help us sew something together, so perhaps we are dreaming about knitting something together. Pins can also hold a notice to a bulletin board, so perhaps the dream is trying to call our attention to something. We sometimes talk about “pinning blame” or “pinning on hopes” on someone. We can also “pin something down” or “walk on pins and needles.”


(design engineering)
A cylindrical fastener made of wood, metal, or other material used to join two members or parts with freedom of angular movement at the joint.
A short, pointed wire with a head used for fastening fabrics, paper, or similar materials.
A terminal on an electron tube, semiconductor, integrated circuit, plug, or connector. Also known as base pin; prong.


1. A peg or bolt of wood, metal, or any other material, which is used to fasten or hold something in place, fasten things together, or serve as a point of attachment or support.
2. A round bar of steel used to connect members of a truss.


2. (in various bowling games) a usually club-shaped wooden object set up in groups as a target
3. Nautical
a. See belaying pin
b. the axle of a sheave
c. the sliding closure for a shackle
4. Music a metal tuning peg on a piano, the end of which is inserted into a detachable key by means of which it is turned
5. Surgery a metal rod, esp of stainless steel, for holding together adjacent ends of fractured bones during healing
6. Chess a position in which a piece is pinned against a more valuable piece or the king
7. Golf the flagpole marking the hole on a green
a. the cylindrical part of a key that enters a lock
b. the cylindrical part of a lock where this part of the key fits
9. Wrestling a position in which a person is held tight or immobile, esp with both shoulders touching the ground
10. (in Britain) a miniature beer cask containing 4½ gallons



(1) See Pinterest for a photo sharing site that uses the "pin" metaphor.

(2) The male lead on a chip or cable connector. Each pin plugs into its female counterpart to complete the circuit. The number of pins reflects the number of wires/pathways that carry signals. See plugs and sockets.

(3) (PIN) (Personal Identification Number) An abbreviated password from four to six digits. The PIN is used to authenticate users at ATM machines and debit card terminals, as well as an option on mobile devices in lieu of a password or biometric method. See passcode and password.

(4) To place an object onto a start menu, taskbar or home screen. For example, in Windows, "Pin to Taskbar" places the application icon onto the taskbar. The Mac equivalent is "Keep in Dock."

(5) Keeping a single application on screen in a mobile device. See screen pinning.

(6) (PIN) (Processor Independent NetWare) A version of NetWare 4.1 designed for portability to multiple platforms. Development was stopped in early 1995.