Definition of linchpin in English:


(also lynchpin)


  • 1A person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization.

    ‘nurses are the linchpin of the National Health Service’
    • ‘Nurses will be the linchpin to the Government's grandiose plans to modernise and improve the National Health Service, one of their leaders says.’
    • ‘But at the same time, she said that these memos, which after all was the lynchpin, the core of your broadcast, were not real.’
    • ‘The diversity and broad appeal that had been the linchpin of its success now drained away like vital oil.’
    • ‘Nuclear weapons are the linchpin neither of the U.S. position in the world nor of its security.’
    • ‘It is the linchpin in the effort to give legitimacy to the post-Cold War settlement, while ensuring that it does not become detached either from power or compelling national interests.’
    • ‘The linchpin to maintaining worker safety and efficiency is preplanning.’
    • ‘Holt, who Allcock describes as his friend and protégé, did not let him down with an outstanding display of bowling as the lynchpin of the team.’
    • ‘Disguised as customers, agents of the three US film companies and public notaries bought a series of popular DVDs at the defendants' outlets and then used the evidence as the lynchpin to their case.’
    • ‘Forti remained a commanding presence as well as the narrative lynchpin, interweaving memories of her family's harrowing escape from Italy during World War II.’
    • ‘Corporations are replacing religion as the lynchpin of Western culture; historians could thus look back on us as we do now on the Greeks or Egyptians, centering their culture around their religious practices.’
    • ‘The United States is the lynchpin of interregional telecommunications traffic, but European countries generate a third more international traffic flows than North America.’
    • ‘A lynchpin of advocacy for literacy programs is that changes in technology and the organization of work are steadily raising the minimum basic skill levels for most types of work.’
    • ‘Herzog is an uncompromising filmmaker whose works have, as their lynchpins, visions of surreal, breathtaking intensity.’
    • ‘They are one of the lynchpins of ‘Blue Link’, a $15 million initiative formally launched in Sydney in October.’
    • ‘The lynchpins of the album are undoubtedly two early, majestic songs that distill the mix of the down-to-earth and the interstellar to its purest state.’
    • ‘After the mass slaughter of the First World War, military cemeteries and war monuments became lynchpins of heavily gendered nationalist myths which were easily appropriated by the National Socialists.’
    • ‘The new building is the linchpin of the medical centre's £62 million redevelopment programme.’
    • ‘Throughout American history, the family has been seen as the linchpin of the social order and the basis for stable governance.’
    • ‘They're the linchpin of Republican efforts to hold the House’
    heart, nucleus, nub, hub, kernel, marrow, meat
  • 2A pin passed through the end of an axle to keep a wheel in position.

    ‘He put the wheel back and secured it with a new linchpin, which he carved from a piece of wood.’
    centre, focal point, central point, centre of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, cornerstone, linchpin, kingpin, bedrock, basis, anchor, backbone, cynosure


Late Middle English from Old English lynis (in the sense ‘linchpin’) + pin.