- 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
- 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
n.1“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.)). n.2“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.)). v.“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.