pigeonhole

[pij-uhn-hohl]
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:
1570–80; pigeon1 + hole


4. categorize, catalog. 5. file. 6. postpone, shelve.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pigeonhole (ˈpɪdʒɪnˌhəʊl)
 
n
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
 
vb
4.  to put aside or defer
5.  to classify or categorize, esp in a rigid manner

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
It became, and remains, bad form to pigeonhole a writer by country.
But don't pigeonhole a whole profession into the one definition you have of a chiropractor.
Don't pigeonhole yourself to downward departures identified in the guidelines themselves.
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