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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 ?
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.
(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.
But the college, one of the linchpins of the new Longbridge, should not be strangled in its infancy.
When carrying out a scrutinizing study of ancient Egyptian reliefs depicting chariot battles, Cohen discerned a unique decoration: the bronze linchpins fastening the chariot wheels were decorated with people's faces - of captives, foreigners and enemies of Egypt.
Pictured in August 1978, they were the linchpins of Hexham's library-on-wheels service in the North Tyne Valley.
Scott said: "Racing will always depend hugely upon the linchpins in the stable.
These are the linchpins that hold together unwieldy sentences.
DavisCup captain Jeremy Bates has urged his ageing linchpins Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski to sweep aside Austria before ending two decades of failure on the global stage.