lynchpin

[linch-pin]
noun
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World English Dictionary
linchpin or lynchpin (ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn)
 
n
1.  a pin placed transversely through an axle to keep a wheel in position
2.  a person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating element: the linchpin of the company
 
[C14 lynspin, from Old English lynis]
 
lynchpin or lynchpin
 
n
 
[C14 lynspin, from Old English lynis]

lynchpin (ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn)
 
n
a variant spelling of linchpin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Experts view the process as a lynchpin to development of new coal facilities with sharply reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Safeguarding sensitive information is a lynchpin of the program's design.
The lynchpin of qualified immunity is the public official's objective reasonableness.
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