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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce linchpin (audio)

Dictionary definition of linchpin

A crucial or essential element that holds various parts or aspects of a system, organization, or plan together.
"Education is often regarded as the linchpin for social progress and economic development."

Detailed meaning of linchpin

Similar to the literal linchpin, which is a fastener used to secure the wheel on an axle, a figurative linchpin serves as a vital connector or stabilizer, ensuring the smooth functioning and coherence of the whole. It embodies a central point of support, influence, or dependency, without which the system or structure would be vulnerable to collapse or disarray. The linchpin often possesses unique skills, knowledge, or qualities that make their role indispensable, acting as a linchpin for successful outcomes and overall effectiveness. Their presence and contribution are regarded as critical, and their absence or failure could have far-reaching consequences, impacting the overall stability and functionality of the entire system or organization.

Example sentences containing linchpin

1. The CEO's innovative strategy was the linchpin that transformed the company's fortunes.
2. In the game of chess, the queen is often considered the linchpin of a winning strategy.
3. The linchpin of the project's success was the dedicated and skilled project manager.
4. Effective communication serves as the linchpin for fostering collaboration and teamwork.
5. The linchpin in the assembly line ensured that all components were properly connected.
6. Trust is the linchpin of any healthy and long-lasting relationship.

History and etymology of linchpin

The noun 'linchpin' has an interesting etymological origin. It can be traced back to the Middle English term 'lynspin,' which evolved from the Old English 'linspin.' This word was a combination of 'lyn' (meaning 'axle') and 'spin' (meaning 'peg' or 'pin'). In its original context, a 'linchpin' was a critical pin or peg that held the axle of a wheel in place, preventing it from slipping off. Over time, the concept of a linchpin evolved metaphorically to refer to any crucial or essential element that holds various parts or aspects of a system, organization, or plan together. Thus, examining the etymology of 'linchpin' reveals its historical association with the mechanical function of securing wheels and its transformation into a metaphorical term denoting something indispensable for the stability and functionality of a larger system.

Quiz: Find the meaning of linchpin

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Further usage examples of linchpin

1. The reliable and efficient transportation system is the linchpin of a thriving economy.
2. The linchpin of the research study was the groundbreaking discovery made by the lead scientist.
3. In a soccer team, the goalkeeper is often considered the linchpin of the defense.
4. The Constitution serves as the linchpin of a nation's governance and legal framework.
5. Quality control measures act as the linchpin in ensuring that products meet the required standards.
6. Trust is the linchpin of a strong relationship.
7. Innovation is often the linchpin of business success.
8. Communication serves as the linchpin of effective teamwork.
9. Education is the linchpin of societal progress.
10. Quality control is the linchpin in manufacturing.
11. The linchpin of the plan is a well-executed marketing campaign.
12. Trustworthy leadership is the linchpin in any organization.
13. The linchpin in the legal case was a crucial piece of evidence.
14. Research and development can be the linchpin of technology companies.
15. A shared vision acts as the linchpin for a cohesive team.
16. The linchpin of the project's success is a dedicated project manager.
17. Financial stability serves as the linchpin for economic growth.
18. Employee satisfaction is often the linchpin of high-performance teams.
19. Customer feedback is the linchpin of product improvement.
20. The linchpin of a successful charity is effective fundraising.
21. Security measures are the linchpin in data protection.
22. Transparency is the linchpin for building public trust.
23. Ethical conduct is the linchpin of a reputable organization.
24. The linchpin of a well-functioning democracy is informed citizens.
25. Problem-solving skills are the linchpin for overcoming challenges.



cornerstone, nonessential, triviality, insignificance


SAT 8 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 8, Strategy and Planning

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