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or lynch·pin  (lĭnch′pĭn′)
1. A locking pin inserted in the end of a shaft, as in an axle, to prevent a wheel from slipping off.
2. A central cohesive element: Reduced spending is the linchpin of their economic program.

[Middle English linspin : lins, linchpin (from Old English lynis) + pin, pin (from Old English pinn; see pin).]


(ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn) or


1. (Mechanical Engineering) a pin placed transversely through an axle to keep a wheel in position
2. a person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating element: the linchpin of the company.
[C14 lynspin, from Old English lynis]



1. a pin inserted through the end of an axletree to keep the wheel on.
2. something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together.
[1350–1400; alter. of Middle English lynspin <lyns, Old English lynis linchpin (c. Old Saxon lunisa, Middle High German luns(e))]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.linchpin - a central cohesive source of support and stabilitylinchpin - a central cohesive source of support and stability; "faith is his anchor"; "the keystone of campaign reform was the ban on soft money"; "he is the linchpin of this firm"
support - something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest; "the policy found little public support"; "his faith was all the support he needed"; "the team enjoyed the support of their fans"
2.linchpin - pin inserted through an axletree to hold a wheel on
pin - a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things


[ˈlɪntʃpɪn] N (lit) → pezonera f (fig) → eje m


[ˈlɪntʃpɪn] n (= key person, element) → pivot m


nAchs(en)nagel m, → Lünse f; (fig)Stütze f; accurate timing is the linchpin of the entire operationdas ganze Unternehmen steht und fällt mit genauer Zeiteinteilung


[ˈlɪntʃˌpɪn] n (in axle) → acciarino, bietta (fig) → perno
References in classic literature ?
to this hour with less penitence than I ought to feel), that if these hands could have taken a linchpin out of his chaise-cart, they would have done it.
A linchpin had fallen out, and permitted one of the wheels to slide off.
There was the good old custom of taking the linchpins out of the farmers' and bagmen's gigs at the fairs, and a cowardly, blackguard custom it was.
WALSALL have suffered a blow with the loss of defensive linchpin Ian Roper for three to four weeks.
Given their expertise, could they not have warned the administration of its folly in focusing on Iraq as the linchpin of its Middle East policy?
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) News Release "Shared Ancestor to Humans, Present-day Non-human Primates May Be Linchpin in the Evolution of Language", Sunday, July 23, 2006
will operate two luxury hotels and condominiums as part of a 54-story high rise touted as the linchpin of a $2.
Because it's the linchpin for cell invasion, PA is an obvious target for antianthrax drugs.
The other linchpin of the Cardinal's life and work, rooted in his personal holiness, was his outspoken defence of life and the family.
In short, the Big Board is not only an icon of American capitalism; it's also a linchpin of the entire world financial system.
The linchpin of future downtown revitalization projects, the ShopRite will serve as a model smart growth redevelopment, providing economic benefits, greater consumer choice and environmental enhancements for the community.
He is the linchpin of American policy in the Mideast.