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pawn  1 (pôn)
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n.
1. Something given as security for a loan; a pledge or guaranty.
2. The condition of being held as a pledge against the payment of a loan: jewels in pawn.
3. A person serving as security; a hostage.
4. The act of pawning.
tr.v. pawned, pawn·ing, pawns
1. To give or deposit (personal property) as security for the payment of money borrowed.
2. To risk; hazard: pawn one's honor.
Phrasal Verb:
pawn off
To dispose or get rid of deceptively: tried to pawn off the fake gemstone as a diamond.

[Middle English paun, from Old French pan, perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German pfant.]

pawna·ble adj.
pawnage n.
pawner (pônər), pawnor(-nôr) n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
pawn 2 (pôn)
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n.
1. Abbr. P Games A chess piece of lowest value that may move forward one square at a time or two squares in the first move, capture other pieces only on a one-space diagonal forward move, and be promoted to any piece other than a king upon reaching the eighth rank.
2. A person or an entity used to further the purposes of another: an underdeveloped nation that was a pawn in international politics.

[Middle English, from Old French pedon, paon, from Medieval Latin pedō, pedōn-, foot soldier, from Late Latin, one who has broad, splayed feet, from Latin pēs, ped-, foot; see ped- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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