pinion

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French pignon, from Latin penna (feather).

Noun[edit]

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. A wing.
  2. The joint of a bird's wing farthest from the body.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
  3. Any of the outermost primary feathers on a bird's wing.
  4. A moth of the genus Lithophane.
  5. (obsolete) A fetter for the arm.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ainsworth to this entry?)

Verb[edit]

pinion (third-person singular simple present pinions, present participle pinioning, simple past and past participle pinioned)

(transitive)
  1. (with the bird or the wing as the object) To cut off the pinion of a bird’s wing, or otherwise disable or bind its wings, in order to prevent it from flying.
    • 1577, Barnabe Googe (translator), Konrad Heresbach (author), Foure Bookes of Husbandrie, book iv (1586), page 169:
      They that meane to fatte Pigions…some…do softly tie their Legges:…some vse onely to pinion them.
    • 1641–2, Henry Best (author), Donald Woodward (editor), The Farming and Memorandum Books of Henry Best of Elmswell, 1642: With a Glossary and Linguistic Commentary by Peter McClure, Oxford University Press/British Academy (1984), ISBN 0197260292 (10), ISBN 9780197260296 (13), page 115:
      When they are aboute fortnights olde (for they must bee driven noe longer) yow must watch where the henne useth to sitte on nights, and come when it beginneth to bee darke and throwe somethinge over the henne as shee broodeth them, then take and clippe every of theire right wings. Then when they are aboute moneths old, yow must come after the same manner and pinnion or cutte a joynte of every of theire right winges.
    • ibidem, page 129:
      The Swanners gette up the younge swannes about midsummer [24 June] and footemarke them for the owners, and then doe they allsoe pinnion them, cuttinge a joynte of theire right winges, and then att Michaellmasse [29 Sept.] doe they bringe them hoame, or else bringe hoame some, and leave the rest att some of the mills and wee sende for them.
    • 1665–7, Abraham Cowley, The Works of Mr Abraham Cowley (fifth edition, 1678), “Several Diſcourſes by way of Eſſays, in Verſe and Proſe”, essay 9: ‘The ſhortneſs of Life and uncertainty of Riches’, closing verses, verse 3 (page 138):
      Suppoſe, thou Fortune could to tameneſs bring, // And clip or pinion her wing; // Suppoſe thou could’ſt on Fate ſo far prevail // As not to cut off thy Entail.
    • 1727, Peter Longueville, Philip Quarll (1816), page 67:
      The two old ducks…being pinioned, could not fly away.
    • 1849, Daniel Jay Browne, The American Poultry Yard (1855), page 242:
      They…should have been pinioned at the first joint of the wing.
  2. (with the person or the arms as the object) To bind the arms of any one, so as to deprive him of their use; to disable by so binding; to shackle.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, The Fate of the Artemis[1]:
      “[…] Captain Markam had been found lying half-insensible, gagged and bound, on the floor of the sitting-room, his hands and feet tightly pinioned, and a woollen comforter wound closely round his mouth and neck ; whilst Mrs. Markham's jewel-case, containing valuable jewellery and the secret plans of Port Arthur, had disappeared. […]”
    • 1916, James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Macmillan Press Ltd, paperback, page 80
      Nash pinioned his arms behind while Boland seized a long cabbage stump which was lying in the gutter.
    1. in transferred senses or in figurative use
      • 1607, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, V.ii
        Know, sir that I / Will not wait pinion'd at your master's court, / Nor once be chastis'd with the sober eye / Of dull Octavia.
      • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter IX
        I was suddenly seized from behind and thrown to earth. As I fell, a warm body fell on top of me, and hands grasped my arms and legs. When I could look up, I saw a number of giant fingers pinioning me down, while others stood about surveying me.
    2. To bind fast to something, or together.
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References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From French pignon.

Noun[edit]

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. The smallest gear in a gear drive train.
Translations[edit]
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