Pawn
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Pawn

English

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Pronunciation

Etymology 1

A black pawn in chess

From Middle English pawn, pown, pewne, poune, powne, paun, from Anglo-Norman paun, poun ("pawn, pedestrian") ( = Old French poon, päon, pëon), from Late Latin ped?, pedonis ("footsoldier"), from Latin p?s, ped- ("foot"). Doublet of peon.

Noun

pawn (plural pawns)

  1. (chess) The most common chess piece, or a similar piece in a similar game. In chess each side has eight; moves are only forward, and attacks are only forward diagonally or en passant.
  2. (figuratively) Someone who is being manipulated or used to some end.
    Though a pawn of the gods, her departure is the precipitating cause of the Trojan War.
Synonyms
Translations

See also

Etymology 2

From Middle French pan ("pledge, security"), apparently from a Germanic language (compare Middle Dutch pant, Old High German pfant).

Noun

pawn (countable and uncountable, plural pawns)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being held as security for a loan, or as a pledge.
    All our jewellery was in pawn by this stage.
  2. An instance of pawning something.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, "The life and death of King Richard the Second", in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
      Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Donne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      As the morning dew is a pawn of the evening fatness, so, O Lord, let this day's comfort be the earnest of to-morrow's.
  3. (now rare) An item given as security on a loan, or as a pledge.
    • c. 1603-1606, William Shakespeare, "The Tragedie of King Lear", in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
      My life I never held but as a pawn / To wage against thy enemies.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [...], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970:
      , New York, 2001, p.106:
      Brokers, takers of pawns, biting userers, I will not admit; yet [...] I will tolerate some kind of usery.
    • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      As for mortgaging or pawning, [...] men will not take pawns without use [i.e. interest].
  4. (rare) A pawnshop; pawnbroker.
Translations

Verb

pawn (third-person singular simple present pawns, present participle pawning, simple past and past participle pawned)

  1. To pledge; to stake or wager.
  2. To give as security on a loan of money; especially, to deposit (something) at a pawn shop.
Synonyms
  • (to deposit at a pawn shop): hock
Translations
See also

Etymology 3

Noun

pawn (countable and uncountable, plural pawns)

  1. Alternative form of paan
    • 1832, Meer Hassan Ali, Observations on the Mussulmauns of India:
      A tray filled with pawns, prepared with the usual ingredients, as lime cuttie (a bitter gum), betel-nut, tobacco, spices, &c.
    • 1892, Chambers's Journal (volume 69, page 320)
      To our English taste, pawn is very offensive; but the natives of India relish it, and regard it as a necessity. It is much eaten by Mohammedans of both sexes, and by the natives of Bengal.

Etymology 4

Noun

pawn (plural pawns)

  1. A gallery.

Etymology 5

Verb

pawn (third-person singular simple present pawns, present participle pawning, simple past and past participle pawned)

  1. (video games) Alternative form of pwn

Anagrams


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