one of a series of small, open compartments, as in a desk, cabinet, or the like, used for filing or sorting papers, letters, etc.
a hole or recess, or one of a series of recesses, for pigeons to nest in.
Also called pigeon hole, white hole. Printing. white space created by setting words or lines too far apart.
verb (used with object), pigeonholed, pigeonholing.
to assign to a definite place or to definite places in some orderly system: to pigeonhole new ideas.
to lay aside for use or reference at some later, indefinite time: We must pigeonhole this excellent plan until the time is ripe.
to put aside for the present, especially with the intention of ignoring or forgetting, often indefinitely: to pigeonhole an unwanted invitation.
to place in or as if in a pigeonhole or pigeonholes: to pigeonhole papers.
to fit or provide with pigeonholes: The desk must be pigeonholed for all my papers.

1570–80; pigeon1 + hole

4. categorize, catalog. 5. file. 6. postpone, shelve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pigeonhole (ˈpɪdʒɪnˌhəʊl)
1.  a small compartment for papers, letters, etc, as in a bureau
2.  a hole or recess in a dovecote for pigeons to nest in
3.  informal a category or classification
4.  to put aside or defer
5.  to classify or categorize, esp in a rigid manner

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
She takes a letter from a pigeon hole and retreats swiftly to her chair with it.
Ian, good job on stuffing everyone into a pigeon hole without actually reading what any of them had to say.
The pigeon hole of the committee on streets is full of them.
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