AskDefine | Define linchpin

Dictionary Definition

linchpin

Noun

1 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" [syn: anchor, mainstay, keystone, backbone, lynchpin]
2 pin inserted through an axletree to hold a wheel on [syn: lynchpin]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From lynspin < lynis (a pin securing a wheel to an axle). Figurative use attested from the mid 20th Century.

Alternative spellings

Noun

  1. a pin inserted through holes at the end of an axle, so as to secure a wheel
  2. a central cohesive source of stability and security; a person or thing that is critical to a system or organisation.

Translations

a securing pin

Extensive Definition

A linchpin or lynchpin is a metal part used in mechanical engineering to prevent a wheel or other rotating part from sliding off the axle it is riding on.
In colloquial speech, it is used to refer to the object at the center of a certain situation. An example of this is the main character in a sitcom, who acts as the glue that keeps all the other characters and situations together.

In music

  • Linchpin is a musical act from southeast London. The band consists of four members, Joey Cass: Vocals, Guitar. Paul Bugler: Guitar. Michael Cass: Bass. Olle Som: Drummer. They have toured a large number of small and large venues in the UK, and have played with the likes of well known American bands Good Charlotte and Sum41.
They have released three EPs. Jesus Had Long Hair, Small Town Theory and All That Glitters, their latest release.
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