pinion
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈpɪnjən/
Noun

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. A wing.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene v], page 63 ↗, column 1:
      Therefore do nimble Pinion'd Doues draw Loue, / And therefore hath the wind-ſwift Cupid wings:
    • 1712 May, [Alexander Pope], “The Rape of the Locke. An Heroi-comical Poem.”, in Miscellaneous Poems and Translations. By Several Hands, London: Printed for Bernard Lintott […], OCLC 228744960 ↗, canto I, page 153 ↗:
      See o'er the Alps his tow'ring Pinions ſoar, / Where never Engliſh Poet reach'd before.
    • 1839 September, Edgar A[llan] Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, in William E[vans] Burton and Edgar A. Poe, editors, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, and American Monthly Review, volume V, number III, Philadelphia, Pa.: Published by William E. Burton, Dock Street, opposite the Exchange, OCLC 50608419 ↗, page 148 ↗:
      Never seraph spread a pinion / Over fabric half so fair.
  2. (ornithology) The joint of a bird's wing farthest from the body.
  3. (ornithology) Any of the outermost primary feathers on a bird's wing.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene xii], page 356 ↗, column 2:
      An argument that he is pluckt, when hither / He ſends ſo poore a Pinnion of his Wing,
  4. A moth of the genus Lithophane.
  5. (obsolete) A fetter for the arm.
Verb

pinion (pinions, present participle pinioning; past and past participle pinioned) (transitive)

  1. 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. To bind the arms of someone, so as to deprive him of their use; to disable by so binding.
    Synonyms: shackle
    • 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.
  3. (transferred sense, figurative) To restrain; to limit.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
      , 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.
    • 1999: Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow, scene 14
      I am pinioned by a chain of reasoning! Why else do his four friends conspire to conceal […]
Translations
  • Russian: подрезать крыло
Translations
  • German: fesseln
  • Russian: свя́зывать рука
Noun

pinion (plural pinions)

  1. (mechanical engineering) The smallest gear in a gear train.
    • 1844, Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial
      A certain period elapses, and some unseen mysterious principle again sets in motion the magic pinions and the wizard wheels.
Translations
  • German: Ritzel
  • Russian: шестерня́
  • Spanish: piñón

Pinion
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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