[pin-yuh n] /ˈpɪn yən/

the distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges.
the wing of a bird.
a feather.
the flight feathers collectively.
verb (used with object)
to cut off the pinion of (a wing) or bind (the wings), as in order to prevent a bird from flying.
to disable or restrain (a bird) in such a manner.
to bind (a person’s arms or hands) so they cannot be used.
to disable (someone) in such a manner; shackle.
to bind or hold fast, as to a thing:
to be pinioned to one’s bad habits.
(mainly poetic) a bird’s wing
the part of a bird’s wing including the flight feathers
verb (transitive)
to hold or bind (the arms) of (a person) so as to restrain or immobilize him
to confine or shackle
to make (a bird) incapable of flight by removing that part of (the wing) from which the flight feathers grow
a cogwheel that engages with a larger wheel or rack, which it drives or by which it is driven

“wing joint, segment of a bird’s wing,” mid-15c., from Old French pignon “wing-feather, wing, pinion” (c.1400), from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem (nominative *pinnio), augmentative of Latin pinna “wing” (see pin (n.)).

“small wheel with teeth to gear with a larger one” (as in rack and pinion), 1650s, from French pignon “pinion” (16c.), literally “gable,” from Old French pignon “pointed gable, summit,” from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem, augmentative of Latin pinna “battlement, pinnacle” (see pin (n.)).

“disable by binding the arms,” 1550s, older in English than literal sense “cut or bind the pinions (of a bird’s wing) to prevent flying” (1570s); from pinion (n.1). Related: Pinioned.


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