pawn

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

A pawn (chess)

From Anglo-Norman paun, poun ( = Old French poon, paon), from Late Latin pedō(nem) (footsoldier), from Latin pēs, ped- (foot).

Noun[edit]

pawn (plural pawns)

  1. (chess) The most common chess piece, or a similar piece in a similar game. In chess each side has eight; moves are only forward, attacks are only forward diagonally or en passant.
  2. (colloquial) Someone who is being manipulated or used to some end, usually not the end that individual would prefer.
    Though a pawn of the gods, her departure is the precipitating cause of the Trojan War.
    • 1908, W. B. M. Ferguson, Zollenstein, ch.1:
      “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

pawn (third-person singular simple present pawns, present participle pawning, simple past and past participle pawned)

  1. (video games) To render one's opponent a mere pawn, especially in a real-time strategy games.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle French pan (pledge, security), apparently from a Germanic language (compare Middle Dutch pant, Old High German pfant).

Noun[edit]

pawn (plural pawns)

  1. The state of being held as security for a loan, or as a pledge.
    All our jewellery was in pawn by this stage.
    • Shakespeare
      My life I never held but as a pawn / To wage against thy enemies.
  2. An instance of pawning something.
    • Shakespeare
      Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown.
    • John Donne
      As the morning dew is a pawn of the evening fatness, so, O Lord, let this day's comfort be the earnest of to-morrow's.
  3. (now rare) An item given as security on a loan, or as a pledge.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York, 2001, p.106:
      Brokers, takers of pawns, biting userers, I will not admit; yet [] I will tolerate some kind of usery.
    • Francis Bacon
      As for mortgaging or pawning, [] men will not take pawns without use [i.e. interest].
  4. (rare) A pawn shop, pawnbroker.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pawn (third-person singular simple present pawns, present participle pawning, simple past and past participle pawned)

  1. To pledge; to stake or wager.
  2. To give as security on a loan of money; especially, to deposit (something) at a pawn shop.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (to deposit at a pawn shop): hock
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Noun[edit]

pawn (uncountable)

  1. Alternative form of paan.

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]