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pawn1

[pawn] /pɔn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to deposit as security, as for money borrowed, especially with a pawnbroker:
He raised the money by pawning his watch.
2.
to pledge; stake; risk:
to pawn one's life.
noun
3.
the state of being deposited or held as security, especially with or by a pawnbroker:
jewels in pawn.
4.
something given or deposited as security, as for money borrowed.
5.
a person serving as security; hostage.
6.
the act of pawning.
Origin
1490-1500
1490-1500; (noun) < Middle French pan; Old French pan(d), pant, apparently < West Germanic; compare Old Frisian pand, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch pant, German Pfand; (v.) derivative of the noun
Related forms
pawnable, adjective
pawner
[paw-ner] /ˈpɔ nər/ (Show IPA),
pawnor
[paw-ner, -nawr] /ˈpɔ nər, -nɔr/ (Show IPA),
noun
unpawned, adjective
Synonyms
4. pledge.

pawn2

[pawn] /pɔn/
noun
1.
Chess. one of eight men of one color and of the lowest value, usually moved one square at a time vertically and capturing diagonally.
2.
someone who is used or manipulated to further another person's purposes.
Origin
1325-75; Middle English poun < Anglo-French, equivalent to Middle French poon, variant of paon, earlier pe(h)on literally, walker; see peon1
Synonyms
2. puppet, tool, dupe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pawn
  • Public education is a pawn of politics from the local level to the national level.
  • If the best chess players had enhanced memories, then the location shouldn't matter: a pawn was still a pawn.
  • Lets acknowledge who are the kingmakers and who is the pawn.
  • Each player chooses a piece and flicks his pawn to advance around the track.
  • Now they've moved to pawn shops and scrap haulers, suggesting a world ready for optimism.
  • Trying to pawn it off on creative writers, or anyone else who isn't a comp specialist, is disgraceful.
  • Until you realize this, you'll never be more than a pawn in their schemes.
  • If you get a flat, you don't have to pawn your kidneys.
  • For anyone who dared to move a pawn against him, the reason was obvious.
  • Elaine and her gang take to the streets with garbage bags of stumps, trying to pawn them off on anyone and everyone.
British Dictionary definitions for pawn

pawn1

/pɔːn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to deposit (an article) as security for the repayment of a loan, esp from a pawnbroker
2.
to stake: to pawn one's honour
noun
3.
an article deposited as security
4.
the condition of being so deposited (esp in the phrase in pawn)
5.
a person or thing that is held as a security, esp a hostage
6.
the act of pawning
Derived Forms
pawnage, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pan security, from Latin pannus cloth, apparently because clothing was often left as a surety; compare Middle Flemish paen pawn, German Pfand pledge

pawn2

/pɔːn/
noun
1.
a chessman of the lowest theoretical value, limited to forward moves of one square at a time with the option of two squares on its initial move: it captures with a diagonal move only P Compare piece (sense 12)
2.
a person, group, etc, manipulated by another
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-Norman poun, from Old French pehon, from Medieval Latin pedō infantryman, from Latin pēs foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pawn
n.

"something left as security," late 15c. (mid-12c. as Anglo-Latin pandum), from Old French pan, pant "pledge, security," also "booty, plunder," perhaps from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German pfant, German Pfand, Middle Dutch pant, Old Frisian pand "pledge"), from West Germanic *panda, of unknown origin.

The Old French word is identical to pan "cloth, piece of cloth," from Latin pannum (nominative pannus) "cloth, piece of cloth, garment" and Klein's sources feel this is the source of both the Old French and West Germanic words (perhaps on the notion of cloth used as a medium of exchange).

lowly chess piece, late 14c., from Anglo-French poun, Old French peon, earlier pehon, from Medieval Latin pedonem "foot soldier," from Late Latin pedonem (nominative pedo) "one going on foot," from Latin pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). The chess sense was in Old French by 13c. Figurative use, of persons, is from 1580s.

v.

"to give (something) as security in exchange for," 1560s, from pawn (n.1). Related: Pawned; pawning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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