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pigeonhole

[pij-uh n-hohl] /ˈpɪdʒ ənˌhoʊl/
noun
1.
one of a series of small, open compartments, as in a desk, cabinet, or the like, used for filing or sorting papers, letters, etc.
2.
a hole or recess, or one of a series of recesses, for pigeons to nest in.
3.
Also called pigeon hole, white hole. Printing. white space created by setting words or lines too far apart.
verb (used with object), pigeonholed, pigeonholing.
4.
to assign to a definite place or to definite places in some orderly system:
to pigeonhole new ideas.
5.
to lay aside for use or reference at some later, indefinite time:
We must pigeonhole this excellent plan until the time is ripe.
6.
to put aside for the present, especially with the intention of ignoring or forgetting, often indefinitely:
to pigeonhole an unwanted invitation.
7.
to place in or as if in a pigeonhole or pigeonholes:
to pigeonhole papers.
8.
to fit or provide with pigeonholes:
The desk must be pigeonholed for all my papers.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; pigeon1 + hole
Synonyms
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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Examples from the web for pigeon hole
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for pigeon hole

pigeonhole

/ˈpɪdʒɪnˌhəʊl/
noun
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
verb (transitive)
4.
to put aside or defer
5.
to classify or categorize, esp in a rigid manner
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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Slang definitions & phrases for pigeon hole

pigeonhole

verb
  1. To classify; identify; button down, peg: I pigeonhole this clown as a total bigmouth (1870+)
  2. To put away or aside (1855+)

[fr the separate compartments of a desk or sorting system, likened to the orifices in a pigeoncote]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
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