1. A pin or a bolt on which another part pivots.
2. Nautical The pin on which a rudder turns.
3. The pin on which a gun carriage revolves.
4. A hook or a bolt on the rear of a towing vehicle for attaching a gun or trailer.
[Middle English pintel, penis, from Old English.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.