[linch-pin] /ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn/

a pin inserted through the end of an axletree to keep the wheel on.
something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together:
The monarchy was the linchpin of the nation’s traditions and society.
a pin placed transversely through an axle to keep a wheel in position
a person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating element: the linchpin of the company

also linch-pin, late 14c., earlier linspin, from Middle English lins “axletree” (see linch) + pin (n.). The peg that holds a wheel on an axle; now mainly figurative.


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