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See also: pin-head and Pinhead


Alternative forms[edit]


pin +‎ head


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪn.hɛd/
  • (file)


pinhead (plural pinheads)

  1. The head of a pin. (Frequently used in size comparisons.)
    • 1810, Thomas Thomson, A System of Chemistry, Vol. 4, Bell & Bradfute, page 602:
      The moment the nitre was red hot, the coal, previously reduced to small pieces of the size of a pinhead, was projected in portions of one or two grains at a time…
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], OCLC 1042815524, part I, page 203:
      Settlements some centuries old, and still no bigger than pinheads on the untouched expanse of their background.
  2. (slang) An ignorant, naive, foolish, or stupid person.
    Synonyms: doofus, dumbbell, dunce; see also Thesaurus:idiot
    • 1977, “Pinhead”, in Leave Home, performed by Ramones:
      I don't want to be a pinhead no more / I just met a nurse that I could go for
    • 1990, Kindergarten Cop:
      My daddy repairs cars driven by women who are pinheads.
    • 1998, J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page 212:
      Percy, who hadn't noticed that Fred had bewitched his prefect badge so that it now read "Pinhead," kept asking them all what they were sniggering at.
  3. (slang) A telemark skier.
  4. (slang, medicine) A human head that is unusually tapered or small, often due to microcephaly, or a person with that trait. Often promoted in freak shows as "human pinheads".
    • 1939, Amram Scheinfeld and Morton David Schweitzer, You and Heredity, Frederick A. Stokes Co., page 155:
      The microcephalic idiot is an unfortunate with a "pinhead," sometimes exhibited as a "what's-it" in circus side-shows, whose mental age never goes beyond that of an imbecile.
    • 1943, Oliver Ramsay Pilat, Sodom by the Sea: An Affectionate History of Coney Island, Garden City Publishing, page 187:
      Zip the What-Is-It was simply a Negro idiot. [] For half an hour at a time, David Belasco used to watch Zip at Coney Island. The producer insisted he saw signs of intelligence in the pinhead []
  5. (slang, pet stores) A newborn cricket used as food for pets.
    • 1994, Raymond E. Hunziker, Leopard Geckos[1], Publisher, →ISBN, page 16:
      A newly hatched gecko will need pretty small crickets, but you will not have to go all the way down to pinheads.
    • 2000, Manny Rubio, Scorpions: Everything About Purchase, Care, Feeding, and Housing[2], Barron's Educational Series, →ISBN, page 70:
      Crickets can be purchased in many sizes from newborns ("pinheads") to adults.
  6. (mycoculture) The immature juvenile fruiting body of a mushroom prior to its gills opening.

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