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[hair-pin] /ˈhɛərˌpɪn/
a slender U -shaped piece of wire, shell, etc., used by women to fasten up the hair or hold a headdress.
(of a road, curve in a road, etc.) sharply curved back, as in a U shape:
a hairpin turn.
Origin of hairpin
1770-80; hair + pin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hairpin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Presently on a natural platform where he sat down to rest, he found a hairpin.

    The World's Greatest Books, Volume V. Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.
  • "You're losing a hairpin on the left side of your head," was all I said.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • Bone or pearl buttons for underwear, or any others that are not affected by exposure, may be securely fixed upon a hairpin.

  • She tried to pierce my eyes with that hairpin that you saw just now.

  • Then she took a hairpin from the knot of bright hair (also as is the way of woman) and slit the envelope with a quick, sure rip.

    Roast Beef, Medium Edna Ferber
  • She looked at herself in profile and readjusted a hairpin above her ear.

    Dubliners James Joyce
  • She had picked the lock with a hairpin and had spent three happy, tearful hours poring over its contents.

    Whispers at Dawn Roy J. Snell
  • He drove on up the trail as it climbed the canyon wall in hairpin slants.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for hairpin


a thin double-pronged pin used by women to fasten the hair
(modifier) (esp of a bend in a road) curving very sharply
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
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Word Origin and History for hairpin

also hair-pin, 1788 (two words), from hair + pin (n.). A hairpin turn, etc., is from 1906. Hairpin (or clothespin) was American English slang for "person" c.1880-1910, especially in the expression "That's the kind of hairpin I am."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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