pinion

1 [pin-yuhn]
noun
1.
Machinery.
a.
a gear with a small number of teeth, especially one engaging with a rack or larger gear. See diag. under rack1.
b.
a shaft or spindle cut with teeth engaging with a gear.
2.
Metalworking. a gear driving a roll in a rolling mill.

Origin:
1650–60; < French pignon cogwheel, Middle French peignon, derivative of peigne comb, variant of pigne < Latin pectin- (stem of pecten) comb; see pecten

pinionless, adjective
pinionlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

pinion

2 [pin-yuhn]
noun
1.
the distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges.
2.
the wing of a bird.
3.
a feather.
4.
the flight feathers collectively.
verb (used with object)
5.
to cut off the pinion of (a wing) or bind (the wings), as in order to prevent a bird from flying.
6.
to disable or restrain (a bird) in such a manner.
7.
to bind (a person's arms or hands) so they cannot be used.
8.
to disable (someone) in such a manner; shackle.
9.
to bind or hold fast, as to a thing: to be pinioned to one's bad habits.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English pynyon < Middle French pignon wing, pinion < Vulgar Latin *pinniōn (stem of pinniō), derivative of Latin pinna feather, wing, fin

unpinioned, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pinion1 (ˈpɪnjən)
 
n
1.  poetic chiefly a bird's wing
2.  the part of a bird's wing including the flight feathers
 
vb
3.  to hold or bind (the arms) of (a person) so as to restrain or immobilize him
4.  to confine or shackle
5.  to make (a bird) incapable of flight by removing that part of (the wing) from which the flight feathers grow
 
[C15: from Old French pignon wing, from Latin pinna wing]

pinion2 (ˈpɪnjən)
 
n
a cogwheel that engages with a larger wheel or rack, which it drives or by which it is driven
 
[C17: from French pignon cogwheel, from Old French peigne comb, from Latin pecten comb; see pecten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pinion
"wing joint," c.1440, from M.Fr. pignon (c.1400), from V.L. *pinnionem, from L. penna "wing" (see pen (1)). Verb meaning "disable by binding the arms" is from 1558, older than lit. sense "cut the pinions of a wing to prevent a bird from flying" (1577).

pinion
"small gear with teeth" (as in rack and pinion), 1659, from Fr. pignon, from O.Fr. pignon "crenellation, battlement," aug. of L. pinna "battlement, pinnacle;" confused with (but perhaps ult. a variant of) penna "wing, feather, peak" (see pen (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The world has been pared to an ancient impulse: the need to pinion beauty, to create a record for posterity.
Rotating the pinion causes the rack to move left or right.
Both pinion gears being engaged, the air released from the uncovered port in the upper motor.
The governor overspeed switch and the safety switch may be the same switch on rack and pinion safeties.
Image for pinion
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