Definition of pawn noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pɔːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɔːn//
    Board games
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  1. 1 a chess piece of the smallest size and least value. Each player has eight pawns at the start of a game. He had to sacrifice another pawn. See related entries: Board games
  2. 2a person or group whose actions are controlled by more powerful people The hostages are being used as political pawns.
  3. Word Originnoun late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French poun, from medieval Latin pedo, pedon- ‘foot soldier’, from Latin pes, ped- ‘foot’. Compare with peon.Extra examples I moved my remaining pawn forward one square. It feels as though we’re being treated as pawns in a game of politics. Kasparov sacrificed his weakest pawn. The prince became a pawn in the game of power politics. We exchanged pawns.Idioms if something is in pawn, it has been pawned All her jewellery was in pawn.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pawn

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