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pinion1

[pin-yuh n] /ˈpɪn yən/
noun
1.
Machinery.
  1. a gear with a small number of teeth, especially one engaging with a rack or larger gear.
  2. a shaft or spindle cut with teeth engaging with a gear.
2.
Metalworking. a gear driving a roll in a rolling mill.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < French pignon cogwheel, Middle French peignon, derivative of peigne comb, variant of pigne < Latin pectin- (stem of pecten) comb; see pecten
Related forms
pinionless, adjective
pinionlike, adjective

pinion2

[pin-yuh n] /ˈpɪn yən/
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
Related forms
unpinioned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pinion
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for pinion

pinion1

/ˈpɪnjən/
noun
1.
(mainly poetic) a bird's wing
2.
the part of a bird's wing including the flight feathers
verb (transitive)
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
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pignon wing, from Latin pinna wing

pinion2

/ˈpɪnjən/
noun
1.
a cogwheel that engages with a larger wheel or rack, which it drives or by which it is driven
Word Origin
C17: from French pignon cogwheel, from Old French peigne comb, from Latin pecten comb; see pecten
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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Word Origin and History for pinion
n.

"wing joint, segment of a bird's wing," mid-15c., from Old French pignon "wing-feather, wing, pinion" (c.1400), from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem (nominative *pinnio), augmentative of Latin pinna "wing" (see pin (n.)).

"small wheel with teeth to gear with a larger one" (as in rack and pinion), 1650s, from French pignon "pinion" (16c.), literally "gable," from Old French pignon "pointed gable, summit," from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem, augmentative of Latin pinna "battlement, pinnacle" (see pin (n.)).

v.

"disable by binding the arms," 1550s, older in English than literal sense "cut or bind the pinions (of a bird's wing) to prevent flying" (1570s); from pinion (n.1). Related: Pinioned.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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